President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) credibility and approval ratings have hit new lows and very few people give Ma credit for improving Taiwan’s sluggish economy, a public opinion poll showed yesterday.
The embattled president’s popularity continues to slide, with his approval rating hitting its lowest point, 15.2 percent, since he was inaugurated for his first term in May 2008.
Ma’s disapproval rating, 76.6 percent, was also the highest recorded during the same span, a survey conducted by Taiwan Indicator Research Survey (TIRS) on Wednesday and Thursday last week found.
The poll found that Ma’s credibility score, 21.7 percent, had likewise fallen to its lowest level since 2008, while 66.3 percent of respondents said they did not trust him.
Respondents also gave Premier Sean Chen (陳?) a miserable approval rating of 17.8 percent.
When asked who has worked hard to resolve the nation’s economic problems, only 4.4 percent of respondents picked Ma, which was less than the 4.7 percent who chose Cabinet ministers, the 12.2 percent that picked Sean Chen and the 14.4 percent who said Chinese Nationalist Party legislators had worked the hardest.
However, 33.5 percent of those polled said none of the aforementioned individuals have done enough to fix the economy, while 28.2 percent chose not to answer.
Another multiple choice question found that the general increase in retail prices bothered people the most, with 76 percent of those polled saying the price increases had constituted the heaviest financial burden.
Fuel and transportation costs came a close second at 70 percent, while water and electricity expenses ranked third at 58.9 percent, and premiums for labor and health insurance fourth at 58.3 percent.
The poll collected 1,012 valid samples and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
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
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
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit