Thu, Mar 24, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Taipei turning against Mayor Ko Wen-je: survey

BACKLASH:The public dislike Ko’s proposal that people work a makeup day after typhoons and his handling of the ‘five cases’ probe, a survey said

By Ho Shih-chang and Kuo An-chia  /  Staff reporters

A survey conducted on Tuesday by — a Web site analyzing the latest trends among Internet users — showed that the approval rating of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has plunged to 35 percent, with the site saying that the Taipei City Government’s slow progress on its probe into the “five cases” and its transportation policies are the main factors behind Ko’s decrease in popularity.

The survey, conducted at the behest of the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper), used big data analysis to process 200,000 messages posted by Internet users on social networking Web sites such as the Professional Technology Temple (PTT).

Dailyview chief editor Liu Yan-li (劉彥澧) said the top five sources of negative feedback on Ko were the encumbered investigation into the “five cases,” which Liu said had “petered out,” Taipei’s traffic congestion, Ko’s proposal that people work a makeup day after typhoon days, his scooter parking fee proposal and a scheduled bus fare hike.

Liu said that Ko’s popularity peaked at about 70 percent close to the 100th day after he assumed office and remained mostly stable at about 50 percent in the following six months; but that the mayor’s support rating took a major dip last month.

Ko used to refer to the five cases as the “five cases of malpractice.”

However, he has changed his rhetoric and now calls them the “five cases” after failing to produce evidence of his predecessors’ wrongdoing.

The “five cases” are the Taipei Dome (台北大巨蛋) complex build-operate-transfer project, the MeHas City (美河市) housing project, the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, the Syntrend Digital Park and the Taipei Twin Towers project (雙子星).

Ko in October last year said that the city’s Clean Government Committee had closed the Twin Towers case after failing to provide evidence that former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and his officials committed any illegalities in the bidding process for the project.

Ko yesterday refused to comment on his plummeting popularity.

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