Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday criticized President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) — saying Ma makes policy decisions unilaterally — and called the nation’s democracy “fake,” advocating for a second democratic reform.
“The central government has concentrated too much power in its hands,” Lee said during a meeting with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City and New Taipei City councilors yesterday. “It is making decisions however it likes, without listening to the voices of the people.”
Lee cited the cross-strait service trade agreement, saying that, despite strong opposition from the public, Ma insists on forcing the legislature to pass the agreement.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
“The leader is not listening to the people. I always say that he [Ma] only looks into the mirror when he makes decisions,” Lee said.
He added that, although there are elections, national politics are chaotic.
“For example, facing the recent oil scandals, central and local governments are blaming each other. They should not be pointing fingers at each other, but rather they should work together to find a way to solve the problem for the public,” he said.
Lee also criticized the government’s China-leaning policies.
“What I am most concerned about now is the self-governance of Taiwan,” Lee said. “To boost Taiwan’s economy, we need more creativity.”
He also condemned businesses that rely on low-cost operations in China.
“Businesses tried to solve their problems by relocating production to China, to cut costs,” he said.
When businesses do so, they leave Taiwan with problems, including high unemployment and low salaries, Lee said.
“It is a sad thing that college graduates cannot find jobs and have to go to China or Australia to work,” Lee said. “Gradually, the distribution of wealth becomes unbalanced, those who are wealthy get wealthier, while the poor become poorer.”
He said that, when wealthy people invest in real-estate properties, housing prices skyrocket and young people are left unable to afford housing. In those situations, young people fear getting married, and even when they are married, they fear having children.
Lee also voiced his opposition to complete economic liberalization, saying that “the government should intervene and regulate when it has to.”
Lee told the city councilor candidates that they should not see themselves as “leaders” of the city, but rather as managers or executives who run the city as if they are running a business.
“There are differences between Taipei and New Taipei City, and there are also differences among different districts or neighborhoods — a good councilor is able to identify these differences and use them as selling points for different communities,” Lee said.
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