Developing a strong economy for sustainable livelihoods is the unavoidable responsibility of a national leader and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should put his money where his mouth is, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday in response to Ma’s National Day speech.
“The biggest wish of Taiwanese on National Day is to enjoy a better standard of living, rather than watching a president talking,” Su said in Lioujiao Township (六腳), Chiayi County.
“Instead of boasting about tomorrow, I would advise the president visit local communities and gain first-hand experience of people’s suffering,” said Su, who turned down an invitation from the Presidential Office to attend the National Day ceremony.
The Ma administration has failed to listen to the people’s voice, evidenced by the president’s recent “inflammatory remark” that laziness was why people do not exercise as often as they should.
Tsai, who also skipped the ceremony and visited Nantou County, told reporters the economy is key for Taiwan and that people expect a competent and responsible government to help the country emerge from the economic slump.
Asked to comment on Ma’s speech, Tsai said his pledges were empty and sounded “more like a first-year president than a fifth-year president” because Ma “keeps telling people what he plans to do, rather than what he has achieved.”
The former DPP presidential candidate also offered advice to Ma on her Facebook page.
Quoting former US president Andrew Jackson, who said the greatness of an administration is built upon freedom, abundance and the fearlessness of its people, Tsai said a government which lacks the determination to safeguard freedoms and cannot take care of people’s everyday lives is not qualified to demand the loyalty of its people.
The worsening economic situation, including rising prices, an growing unemployment rate, furloughs and stagnant wages, has affected everyone — young and old — nationwide, Tsai said.
“The government appears to be the culprit of the people’s suffering,” she wrote.
The Ma administration has turned a deaf ear to warnings about the economy from the DPP and academics, Tsai said, adding that Taiwan’s overdependence on the Chinese market and the failure of industries to upgrade had hurt the nation’s global competitiveness.
Ma’s decision to raise electricity and fuel prices was like adding fuel to the fire, as the poor get poorer and the middle-class is struggling like never before, she said.
Tsai said she had expressed hope that Ma would “listen to the voice of the people, and take care of each and every Taiwanese” in her concession speech on the night of the presidential election on Jan. 14, but it is obvious that Ma had not been listening.
“I want to remind you [Ma] again, on National Day, that people are not required to lend unconditional support to the country unless their freedoms and well-being are amply protected,” Tsai said.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations