Public are unhappy with level of graft, survey finds

DISSATISFACTION::An annual survey that gauges satisfaction with human rights found it in decline for a third consecutive year, although results were mixed

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Tue, Dec 10, 2013 - Page 1

The public are fairly satisfied with their religious freedoms and with civil servants’ attitudes, but remain skeptical of the government when it comes to corruption, according to a new survey released yesterday.

On a scale of one to five, with a score of five representing the best and below three representing dissatisfaction, respondents gave the nation an overall rating of 2.7 points on human rights, 0.1 points lower than last year and 0.3 points lower than in 2011.

Corruption was the source of greatest public dissatisfaction, scoring 1.8 points — the only item that scored less than 2.

Dissatisfaction with corruption was followed by the government’s ability to respond to people’s needs, which scored 2 points.

In the area of protecting freedom of speech and privacy, the government got a low grade of 2.4, down from 3.2 last year and 3.5 points in 2011.

Respondents gave the highest rankings to freedom of religion, freedom of movement, the right to vote and government officials’ attitudes, at 3.8.

The category of right to access government information scored 2.8, while the efficiency of government bureaus received 2.9 — both slightly lower than last year.

Freedom of intervention in the judiciary and assurance of fair trials scored low as well, at 2 and 2.4 points respectively.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who is also chairman of the foundation, said at a press conference held to release the survey results that the poll is a timely reminder on where the government should try to do a better job.

The survey, which was conducted by Shih Hsin University on behalf of the state-funded Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, polled 1,068 people from Nov. 28 to Thursday last week.

The annual survey has been conducted since 2009.