Mon, Jun 20, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Ma’s appearance at Golden Melody Awards creates buzz

OUT OF TUNE?Some netizens expressed dissatisfaction at Ma’s appearance, while a DPP legislator said that the move lowered the tone of the presidential elections

By Chen Yin-tsung, Chiu Yan-ling and Wang Yu-chung  /  Staff Reporters

Aboriginal singer Suming raises his fist after receiving the award for Best Aboriginal-Language Album by President Ma Ying-jeou, right, at the Golden Melody Awards on Saturday.

Photo: CNA

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Saturday evening made an unprecedented appearance at the Golden Melody Awards — the nation’s equivalent of the US’ Grammy Awards — sparking a buzz among netizens, with some questioning whether the awards ceremony has become an election campaign platform to canvas for support.

During the ceremony, Ma presented the award for the Best Aboriginal Language Album.

TV cameras focused on Ma as he was leaving, showing Ma shaking hands with each of the guests in the front row.

However, the footage prompted netizens to say that Ma had made the event into a political event or a personal show, with one saying that: “by the time he’s done it will be midnight. What’s left to watch?”

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) also showed up at the event on Saturday night, staying on after Ma’s departure.

Commenting on Ma’s appearance at the ceremony, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said that politics has to have a certain level of seriousness, but Ma has seemingly turned elections into a show-like spectacle to canvas for votes from first-time and young voters.

This would not only lower the tone of the presidential elections, but would also not win Ma any votes from the younger generation, he said, adding that young people may only end up feeling disgust at the move.

DPP Legislator Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠) said the government should be using policies and budgets to help the younger generation and give them space for development, instead of playing up oneself as a celebrity when the election season comes around.

King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), Ma’s long-time aide who also heads his re-election campaign, recently said that many young people these days are not really interested in politics and pay more attention to South Korean and Japanese TV dramas and entertainment news.

Ma’s campaign office spokesperson Yin Wei (殷瑋) yesterday said that younger and first-time voters are people that the campaign team cares a lot about, adding that it does not mean it will not win support from other demographic groups.

Party officials speaking on condition of anonymity said Ma’s attendance at events such as the Golden Melody Awards could be seen as being motivated by trying to win for young peoples’ votes. However, they added that such an appearance goes to show that Ma is taking a gentler and populist approach to bridge the distance with people from different sectors.

Translated by Jake Chung, Staff writer

The headline has been changed from the printed edition.

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