The pan-green camp yesterday blasted President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) New Year’s Day address, in which he pledged to reconcile with the opposition and to redirect Taiwan’s future, as cliched and said Ma should practice what he preaches.
“If Ma was sincere about what he said, he should call a national affairs conference and try to work with the opposition to clear up the mess in his administration,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said in response to Ma’s address.
Su said he expected Ma to solve national woes with a “brand new mentality” in the new year and offer more than just “lip service and empty promises.”
Ma has no one to blame but himself for the current national crises and people’s suffering, Su said, as Ma’s policies were why the economy stagnated and people cannot enjoy better livelihoods.
Ma has always failed to deliver on what he preaches, the chairman said, citing the example of Ma stressing the importance of a healthy media environment and then failing to act in response to the controversial Next Media deal.
Former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said that while she expected Ma to take action to improve the country, perhaps the most important thing Ma has to do is not cooperating with the opposition, but changing himself.
“That means he has to abandon his authoritarian mentality and engage in consociational democracy with the opposition and civic society, so the problems at hand can be solved,” Tsai said.
The four challenges that Ma mentioned in his speech were “common sense” and the president did not offer any solutions, DPP Legislator Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said.
Ma also had problems with analyzing the challenges, Lee said, adding that Ma has made a mistake by identifying the low birthrate and aging population as the primary reasons for the pension system crisis, “when the real problem was the system itself.”
Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said in a press release that his party no longer has any expectations of Ma because of the president’s poor governance in the past four-and-a-half years, in particular his pro-China policy that had further harmed Taiwan’s economy and jeopardized Taiwan’s sovereignty.
The chaos left the TSU with only one option, which is to recall Ma and the lawmakers of his Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Huang said, adding that the TSU has launched a petition to recall Ma.