A new report compiled by the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission (RDEC) on President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) accomplishments during his first four-year term provides a picture that does not reflect growing public discontent with his administration.
Ma ended his first term in office and was sworn in for a second term on May 20 amid growing public dissatisfaction and a slumping approval rate.
As Ma eyes the future, he leaves behind several unfulfilled and broken campaign promises that he made during the 2008 presidential election campaign.
Days before his second inauguration, Ma reflected on his administration’s performance over the past four years in a press conference at the Presidential Office.
Ma acknowledged his failures in creating sufficient jobs, addressing stagnant wages, narrowing the wealth gap and clearly explaining his administration’s policies to the public.
However, despite Ma’s admissions, a review report compiled by the commission on Ma’s fulfillment of campaign promises depicted what it called a string of “impressive statistics.”
In 2008, Ma promised voters he would boost the country’s sluggish economy with a number of economic platforms, in particular his “6-3-3” campaign pledge — an annual GDP growth rate of 6 percent, annual per capita income of US$30,000 and an unemployment rate of less than 3 percent per year.
Ma has failed to accomplish most aspects of the “6-3-3” pledge.
Furthermore, construction of the National Palace Museum’s southern branch in Chiayi County, which he had promised would be completed by last year, has had to be extended to the end of 2015.
In addition, a promise to set up a national Hakka radio station has also yet to be fulfilled.
Other campaign promises Ma failed to deliver on have pertained to government budgets, including budgets in the areas of national defense, education, cultural development and the economy.
Ma also pledged to increase the annual defense budget by 3 percent of GDP, a goal that was never met.
Nevertheless, the report put the defense budget under the “accomplished” category.
“The presidential campaign promises were imperative commitments the president made to the people,” the commission wrote in the report’s opening sentence.
Translated by Stacy Hsu, staff writer