"Thank you [for your comments and suggestions]," was Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou's (
"Thank you [for your comments and suggestions]," was Ma's response when he was mobbed by reporters earlier this month after KMT Keelung Mayor Hsu Tsai-li (
So it came as no surprise when Ma, approached for his response to Premier Frank Hsieh's (
While some may regard such responses as a gesture of modesty, the public deserves to hear more than just "thank you" from the leader of the country's largest opposition party.
As someone who has his heart set on winning the key to the Presidential Office in 2008, the public deserves to know what Ma really stands for, and what his views are on a number of public issues.
Ma has been the darling of the local media for the longest time. He has been pampered by them, in fact.
In the latest example of this, a bare-chested Ma was shown soaking in a hot spring with some fellow Taipei City Government officials in a bid to promote the hot-spring industry in Taipei City's Peitou (
Although it is a noted fact that there are hordes of Ma fans among the nation's female reporters, endless footage of the shirtless KMT chairman is way too much exposure. Not to mention the so-called political commentators who attempt to beautify Ma's conduct and rhetoric on TV talk shows.
With the around-the-clock media bombardment on how "charming" Ma is, it is no wonder that the premier has warned his party not to underestimate the "Ma Ying-jeou phenomenon" that is being promoted by the KMT-friendly media.
In a recent interview with Newsweek, the KMT chairman said that the KMT's eventual goal in cross-strait relations is unification.
According to a recent poll conducted by the Taiwan Thinktank, merely 6.6 percent of respondents support Ma's talk of unification, whereas nearly 89 percent said that the decision should be left to the Taiwanese people as a whole. The same survey showed that nearly 66 percent expressed support for President Chen Shui-bian's (
The survey suggested that although Ma and the Ma-obsessed media might attempt to manipulate the public's impression of him, most people are not being fooled.
Many pan-blue supporters are hoping that Ma will lead the KMT back to the Presidential Office at the 2008 election. However, before Ma attempts to prove that he has what it takes to become president two years from now, he should prove that he has the guts to shoulder the responsibility for his own conduct and rhetoric by starting to make responsible comments and stop hiding behind his well-worn response of "Thank you [for your comments and suggestions.]"