President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) approval rating hit a new low of 9.2 percent, the first time the rating has dipped to to single-digits, in a public opinion poll released yesterday amid widespread public dissatisfaction with Ma’s role in ongoing political strife within the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
Only 9.2 percent of the respondents said they were satisfied with Ma’s performance in his second term, which began in May last year, while 80.5 percent of those polled disapproved of his performance and 10.3 percent declined to comment, according to the poll conducted by ERA Survey Research Center, a subsidiary of ERA Television.
Asked if they have confidence about Ma’s leadership in the remainder of his term, 72 percent of the respondents said no, while 16.1 percent said yes and 11.9 percent declined to comment.
In another poll, released by TVBS last week, Ma had an approval rating of 11 percent, between 2 and 6 percentage points down from his rating of between 13 and 17 percent in the past six months.
Even former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who is serving a 20-year prison term for corruption, at the height of and in the aftermath of his corruption scandal never registered single-digit approval ratings.
The survey, conducted on Friday and Saturday, also asked respondents about political turmoil in the KMT surrounding the revoking of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) party membership after Wang was accused of illegal lobbying by Ma.
Almost two-thirds, or 63.2 percent, of those polled were not satisfied with the way Ma, who is also KMT chairman, had handled the controversy, while 49.9 percent of respondents said Wang had dealt with the incident well.
Almost half — 49.2 percent — of the respondents said they would support a recall campaign against Ma because the president had infringed on human rights and jeopardized the constitutional system, with 34.7 percent opposing a recall and 16.1 percent saying they have no opinion.
Wang, whose KMT membership is in question, despite a court ruling upholding his request for an injunction to retain his membership temporarily, appeared to receive solid support from the respondents as 50 percent of those polled said they would not support Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Shiu-chu (洪秀柱) replacing Wang, even if Wang was eventually stripped of his speaker position.
Regarding Wang’s future, 34 percent of respondents said the 72-year-old should do his best to stay with the KMT, with 20.4 percent calling for Wang’s retirement from politics and 86 percent urging him to establish a new political party.
The poll collected 1,039 valid samples and had a margin of errors of 3 percentage points.
Meanwhile, Ma posted a message on his Facebook yesterday saying that national stability and smooth governance were key, but that efforts to uphold equality and justice, and the maintenance of judicial independence, should not be ignored.
Undue influence by senior officials in legal cases is a question that is clearly on either the side of right, or wrong, Ma wrote.
There is no neutral ground or gray area on the matter, and I would not compromise on this stance, Ma wrote, adding that this was his solemn promise to the people.
Additional reporting by Jake Chung
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
CAUTION: Taiwan had zero cases of death from food poisoning for six years until last year, when two people died after eating wildlife, an FDA official said The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday urged the public not to eat wildlife or unidentified wild plants, as they could be fatal, with nearly 7,000 people affected by food poisoning last year, including two deaths due to wildlife consumption. The number of food poisoning incidents increased by nearly 50 percent last year, from 398 cases involving 4,616 people in the previous year to 503 cases involving 6,944 people, FDA data showed. That figure was the second-highest in history, the FDA said, adding that the highest number was recorded in 1997, with 7,235 people. Among the 503 cases, 87 were food poisoning clusters