Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ma lives in fear of his people

Rather than meet the many challenges he faces on the home front, Ma is running away and confirms growing doubts about his ability to lead for the three years he has left in office 

With public approval ratings that have sunk to levels even below those of former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) at his nadir and assailed by both the pan-green and pan-blue camps over his government’s execrable performance in recent months, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) ongoing trip abroad could revamp his image.

However, based on his performance in New York, where he made a brief stop earlier this week, that is unlikely to happen. Foreign trips are a tried, tested and, above all, convenient opportunity for struggling national leaders to garner support by reaching out to overseas compatriots and brushing elbows with influential figures. However, Ma, whose approval ratings are approaching single-digit figures — in striking contrast with his 90 percent support rating in his re-election as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman last month — did not feel that it was necessary to reach out in this way.

This unsigned editorial, which will be my last article for the Taipei Times, continues here. (Photo by the author)

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