Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday said the government lacked good leadership and urged the public to save the nation by carefully choosing a new leader in the presidential election in 2016.
Worried about the nation’s future, Lee said Taiwan had fallen behind other countries and is now ranked last among the four Asian Tigers, trailing behind South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong.
“Currently, we have no leadership for our country. The current leader has no vision for national goals and he has no conviction. The leader is not working for the well-being of the people, nor is he a modest man,” Lee said at a launch for his two new books in Taipei yesterday.
“We are now in the 21st century, but what direction is Taiwan headed? This country is unable to see the road ahead and the people have no confidence,” the former president added. “It is regrettable for Taiwan’s economic development. We are heading down the wrong road. Wages are not increasing and there is a large gap between the rich and poor.”
At the launch, economist Lin Hsiang-kai (林向愷) said that although Taiwan is trailing South Korea in terms of overall economic performance, it is ahead of South Korea when it comes to trade liberalization and open markets.
“So, should Taiwan move from unilateral opening up toward bilateral opening up? Or should we maintain our current advantage in technology and innovation?” Lin asked Lee.
In response, Lee said that South Korea used to lag behind the other Asian tigers and Taiwan was the front-runner.
However, South Korea is now ranked as a developed countries while Taiwan remains last among the Asian Tigers, Lee added.
“The main problem lies in the leadership of this country,” Lee said. “After 2000, Taiwan’s capital began flowing to China for investment, but economic problems cannot be solved simply by adopting a free and loose economic policy.”
“During my presidency we implemented the “no haste, be patient (戒急用忍)” policy and at the time I was criticized for ‘closing the country to international trade,’” he added.