Although there are still three years left before he completes his term of office, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) runs the risk of turning himself into one of the most incompetent presidents in history, Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien said yesterday.
Ma’s approval ratings “did not drop to a little over 10 percent without reason,” Wang said in an article. “President Ma has been seeking to create his own legacy. There are still three years to go, but [his legacy] has probably already been decided: Incompetent.”
Citing as an example of the rules that govern the establishment of care centers for vegetative patients, Wang said the prevalence of bureaucracy in the government is helping define Ma’s legacy.
In the article, entitled Do vegetative patients like to go to the toilet?, Wang said officials at the Ministry of the Interior who were in charge of the rules were so “out of touch with reality” and “wrong-headed” that they showed complete disregard for those who cannot afford to take care of family members who are in vegetative states.
Under the original rules, any care center accommodating 60 or more patients in a vegetative state was required to have 10 lavatories to qualify as a licensed institution giving a patients-to-lavatories ratio of 6:1, while ministry officials only agreed to count two stool pans as two lavatories after petitioners spent five or six years repeatedly appealing to the ministry to revise the rules, Wang said.
The government is duty-bound to take care of the disadvantaged and when it fails to do so civil groups are forced to undertake the task of looking after those people, yet these same groups then face bureaucratic hassles in trying to meet the government’s rules, Wang said.
“Why is the president to blame for such a thing? Because people believe that the minister was appointed by the president as well as the officials at the ministry who were chosen by the minister, thus the president must be held responsible for their incompetence,” Wang said.
He suggested the government replace incompetent chiefs of subunits within Cabinet ministries in order to get rid of bureaucracy. If bureaucratic politics continue, then a simple Cabinet reshuffle does not make any sense, he added.