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Defence minister offers to resign over typhoon response

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-19

Taiwan's Defence Minister Chen Chao-min (left) and the cabinet secretary have offered to resign after acknowledging mistakes in their response to Typhoon Morakot, which struck on August 8 leaving hundreds dead or displaced.

AFP - Taiwan's defence minister and the cabinet secretary offered to resign Wednesday over mistakes committed during the response to Typhoon Morakot, a cabinet official said on condition of anonymity.
   
Defence Minister Chen Chao-min and Cabinet Secretary General Hsueh Hsiang-chuan, who is responsible for coordination between ministries, cited the slow emergency response when resigning, the official said.
   
Premier Liu Chao-shiuan was considering their offers to step down, the official said.
   
The cabinet secretary faced personal criticism after angrily justifying himself for dining with his family at a five-star hotel on August 8, the day the typhoon struck, saying it was Father's Day in Taiwan and "not out of line".
   
The defence ministry has been under fire for deploying too few troops during the initial days of rescue operations with only 2,100 and 5,300 helping on August 9 and 10 respectively before the number was increased to 43,300 on August 14, according to official figures.

Date created : 2009-08-19

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