As President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday afternoon participated in a youth forum organized by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to gather opinions from the younger generation, dozens of young people demonstrated outside the venue in Taipei, urging the president to also listen to those outside his party.
Holding up signs that read: “Party members’ opinion is not public opinion” and “Warning: fake public opinion,” dozens of young people rallied outside the Y17 Taipei Youth Activity Center where the forum was held.
Ma, who also serves as KMT chairman, said that he would like to listen to what the younger generation has to say about public affairs through the forum following the 24-day occupation of Legislative Yuan in Taipei by student-led activists that ended on April 10.
However, the protesters accused the president of being insincere since he asked the KMT to organize the event and the participants were carefully vetted.
“Ma is taking part in this event not to listen to what the youth really have to say. He only wants to feel better about himself by participating in the forum,” demonstrator Huang Ting-yun (黃婷筠) said. “You do not just get to attend the forum just by signing up. The KMT staff reviewed your application before deciding whether you would be allowed to take part.”
“This is obviously just a show — Ma pretends that he wants to talk with all young people in the country, but he only wants to speak to young people in his own party,” she added.
Other protesters described the forum as the “masturbation of a president with a 9 percent approval rate.”
Although there were only about 30 to 40 people taking part in the flashmob demonstration, as many as 300 police officers were dispatched to prevent them from entering the center.
The protest proceeded peacefully, and the protesters later walked to the nearby Legislative Yuan.