President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) approval rating has fallen by more than half since he assumed office in 2008, according to a survey released by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research (TISR) yesterday ahead of the sixth anniversary of his presidency on Tuesday next week.
The survey showed Ma’s latest approval rating at 17.9 percent, down 19.9 percentage points from June 2008, a month after he was sworn in for his first term, while his disapproval rating increased by more than 1.5 times from 46.2 to 71.1 percent over the same period.
The number of those polled who deem the president untrustworthy has also risen since Ma was first elected, climbing from 55.4 percent in June 2008 to 62.2 percent.
On a scale of 1 to 100, respondents in TISR’s poll gave Ma a failing grade of 44.3 points for his performance as head of state over the past six years. A further breakdown of the results shows that even those who identified themselves as supporters of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) that Ma heads as chairman “flunked” the president, giving him an average score of 59.7.
The survey participants who said they are pan-green supporters or swing voters scored Ma’s performance at 32.8 and 41.1 points respectively, the results show.
Respondents’ dissatisfaction was not confined to Ma, with most Cabinet members also failing to impress the majority of those polled.
Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times
As many as 76 percent of participants ranked Atomic Energy Council Minister Tsai Chuen-horng’s (蔡春鴻) achievements in office as the least remarkable, followed by those of Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) at 72.1 percent and of Minister of the Interior Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) at 69.6 percent.
Only two of the Cabinet’s 12 members had approval ratings above 20 percent: Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) (24.6 percent) and Minister of Justice Luo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) (21.2 percent).
Respondents said they are most unsatisfied with the work of Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) and Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch (張家祝), who were given the highest disapproval ratings at 35.8 and 35 percent respectively.
The survey was conducted from Wednesday to Friday last week through a random telephone sampling of 1,001 people aged 20 and older. It has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
A separate survey conducted by Taiwan Thinktank put Ma’s approval rating at nearly the same level as TISR’s poll on 17.4 percent and yielded a slightly higher disapproval rating of 72.8 percent.
As many as 64.8 percent of respondents in the think tank’s poll said Ma had not done a good job, Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive Lai I-chung (賴怡忠) told a press conference yesterday.
Soochow University professor Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said the think tank poll shows Ma’s integrity is being questioned by the public, as 69. 5 percent of respondents said the president would not protect Taiwanese interests in cross-strait talks.
Meanwhile, 53.8 percent of those polled by the think tank said they trusted former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Hsu added.
Asked if the DPP could gain ground in the seven-in-one elections in November, former DPP Legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) said Ma’s incompetence would hurt the KMT’s showing in the electoral contests.
The Taiwan Thinktank poll was conducted from April 26 to April 28, taking 1,230 samples with a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.
SOLVED: Domestic orders have already overtaken the total sold to China last year, while the Canadian and US representative offices posted messages of support A joint effort by groups and individuals in Taiwan and abroad to prop up sales of pineapples after China announced a ban on imports of the fruit succeeded in just four days, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday. China on Friday announced that it would suspend imports of Taiwanese pineapples starting on Monday, citing biosafety concerns. Following the announcement, the council urged the public to assist farmers by purchasing pineapples, saying it hoped to sell 20,000 tonnes of the fruit domestically and 30,000 tonnes in exports. “Domestic orders have already surpassed the total sold to China last year,” COA Minister
‘UNFRIENDLY’: COA Minister Chen Chi-chung said that Beijing probably imposed the sanction because the pineapple production season is about to start in Taiwan More than 99 percent of pineapples sold to China passed inspections, the government said yesterday, after China earlier in the day abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from the nation, which Taipei called an “unfriendly” move. From Monday, China is to stop importing pineapples from Taiwan, the Chinese General Administration of Customs said. The regulation is a normal measure for ensuring biosafety, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said in a news release later yesterday. Since last year, Chinese customs officials have repeatedly seized pineapples imported from Taiwan that carried “perilous organisms,” Ma said. Were the organisms to spread in China, they would
Taiwanese netizens and politicians yesterday mocked a Chinese plan to build a transportation network linking Beijing and Taipei, calling it “science fiction” and “daydreaming.” Their comments were in reaction to the Chinese State Council’s release last week of its “Guidelines on the National Comprehensive Transportation Network Plan,” which include several proposed transportation links, with one map showing a line running from China’s Jingjinji Metropolitan Region (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) across the Taiwan Strait to Taipei. “This is the Chinese leadership daydreaming again of [fulfilling its] fantasy of extending China’s transportation network to Taiwan. I suggest people regard it as science fiction,” Democratic Progressive
‘ONE PERSON PER UNIT’: People undergoing home isolation cannot stay in a housing unit in which non-isolated people live, unless they have special approval Starting tomorrow, people under home isolation would be required to follow the “one person per housing unit” rule if in private housing, or stay at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the rules require people under home quarantine to be quarantined with one person per housing unit, or at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility. “Starting on March 1, individuals under home isolation will also be subject to the ‘one person per housing unit’ rule,” he said. “We