Ma to hold 1st meeting after holiday

The China Post news staff

As the six-day Lunar New Year holiday comes to an end tomorrow, President Ma Ying-jeou is reportedly planning to hold a New Year gathering with more than 80 senior members of the cabinet and the Presidential Office today in Taipei, in the hopes of facilitating communication between the two sides, local media reported yesterday. It would mark the first time Ma holds a New Year’s gathering since the national leader took office in 2008, according to the Central News Agency (CNA) report yesterday. The CNA report quoted anonymous senior officials of saying that the meeting that is slated to be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today at the National Defense University’s Fuxinggang (復興崗) campus in Beitou District, Taipei City, is also meant to have the heads of cabinet branches and officials of the Presidential Office gear up for the challenges in the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. Ma will personally preside over the meeting. He will exchange views with officials who join the gathering to come up with strategies to win the year-end legislative by-election and the 2012 presidential election.

The president will also have a pep talk with members of the cabinet to have them well-prepared for the upcoming year, the report said. Some of the planned attendees include Vice President Vincent Siew, Presidential Office Secretary-General Wu Jin-lin (伍錦霖), National Security Council Secretary-General Hu Wei-jen (胡為真), Premier Wu Den-yih, Vice Premier Sean Chen (陳沖), and Executive Yuan Secretary-General Lin Join-sane (林中森). Senior members of Ma’s ruling Kuomintang (KMT) including Lin Yi-shih (林益世), chief executive of the KMT’s Central Policy Committee; newly-appointed KMT caucus whip Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑); and former caucus whip Lin Tsang-min (林滄敏) will also be participating in the gathering, the report said, adding that more than 80 senior cabinet and KMT members will be attending the event. Lin Yi-shih is scheduled to deliver a speech on the possible obstacles that lie ahead for the ruling party in the year-end legislative by-election, the report said.