Amid criticism over his governing ability and low approval ratings, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday reiterated his administration’s determination to fight corruption and maintain its integrity.
Attending a forum on integrity and politics, Ma said that public trust was the biggest asset of a government, and promised to uncover the truth behind a series of corruption cases involving former government officials, including former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世) and former National Fire Agency director-general Huang Chi-min (黃季敏).
“The government handles corruption cases in accordance with the law and it is not afraid of revealing shameful acts within the administration,” Ma said.
Ma touted the ongoing investigations into bribery allegations as evidence of the government’s efforts to fight corruption even within the administration.
“We hope the public can see the government’s determination to combat corruption. It’s like when you start cleaning a house when dust starts to accumulate. Without getting through this stage, we will not be able to build a clean government,” he said.
Ma made the remarks in the wake of a recent article in the global weekly The Economist, which described the president as an “ineffectual bumbler,” and a spate of corruption cases.
Asked to comment on Ma’s remarks, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said that integrity and capability were important traits of a national leader, but added that the president should also address issues that people are most concerned about.
“Integrity is very important, but an incapable leader cannot address issues that people care about,” Lee said at an event in Taipei.
Ma’s approval rating has dropped to an all-time low of 13 percent in recent weeks, according to the TVBS Poll Center.