Tue, Dec 11, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Ma rates low on policies, human rights

DISSATISFACTION:From rights protection to utility rate hikes, pension reform and corruption, over 60 percent of the public voiced their disapproval, two surveys show

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Activists hold a lie-down protest outside the 2012 Asian Democracy and Human Rights Award ceremony in Taipei yesterday to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the government’s human rights record.

Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times

A majority of Taiwanese are unhappy with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) policies and how his administration has handled human rights development, public opinion polls released yesterday on International Human Rights Day showed.

Almost two in three respondents, or 62.3 percent, were not satisfied with his administration’s protection of human rights, with only 31.1 percent giving Ma positive reviews on the issue, Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), executive director of the DPP’s Policy Research Committee, told a press conference.

The survey was conducted on Thursday and Friday, and collected 1,170 valid samples with a margin of error of 3.06 percent, Wu said.

Public dissatisfaction with Ma’s performance in five areas on human rights — economic, environmental, judicial and political rights, as well as care for the disadvantaged — all exceeded 60 percent, with economic rights garnering a disapproval rate of 67.5 percent, followed by judicial protection with 67 percent, Wu said.

Another public survey released by Taiwan Indicator Survey Research (TISR) yesterday showed that a majority of respondents disapproved of most of the major policies that Ma had implemented this year.

The poll, touted as a year-end review of Ma’s policies, was conducted between Thursday and Friday, and collected 1,010 valid samples with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

The TISR listed 10 major policies and asked respondents whether they supported them.

With the exception of Taiwan’s inclusion in the US’ Visa Waiver Program and a policy requiring the registration of real-estate transaction prices based on market value — both of which gained the support of more than half of those polled — the survey found that most of Ma’s policies were highly unpopular.

The increases in fuel and electricity rates were the most unpopular policy, with 87.8 percent of respondents voicing disapproval; followed by commodity price stabilization measures and pension reform, with 77.6 percent and 73.6 percent of respondents respectively saying the president handled the issues poorly.

Public dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of corruption investigations, US beef imports containing the feed additive ractopamine and the securities capital gains tax all came in above 60 percent, the survey found.

Even among respondents who identified themselves as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) supporters, the dissatisfaction rate surpassed 50 percent for five of the 10 policies.

The poll also showed Ma’s approval rating at 17.2 percent, while 73.5 percent of respondents disapproved of his performance. Only 24.6 percent found him credible.

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