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.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
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.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each