President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday urged the public not to determine the success or failure of her governance based on the performance in the first 100 days of her presidency, adding she would not evaluate Cabinet members according to their short-term achievements.
Tsai made the remarks in a speech delivered at a tea gathering with the media in Taipei, marking the three-month anniversary of her inauguration.
“I do not want others to judge the success or failure of my governance based solely on my performance in the first 100 days. Likewise, I also would not use Cabinet members’ work in the first 100 days to evaluate them,” Tsai said.
Tsai said reforms require time and she would not back down just because she does not see results within a short period of time or encounters difficulties.
Tsai was apparently responding to critics who have cited her lower approval rating as proof of policy failures and the basis for speculation that a Cabinet reshuffle is planned.
Tsai said the focus of her job has remained the same since taking office, which is to “fix problems,” some of which the previous administration either had sought in vain to address or did not have the energy or resources to solve.
“However, people chose us because they wanted a new government to bravely face and tackle problems in a pragmatic manner, instead of shifting the blame onto its predecessors,” Tsai said, adding that she is willing to make changes if the way she handles problems is not well-thought-out.
Looking back at the past three months, Tsai said her administration’s policymaking has revolved around four aspects.
The first is to address long-standing problems facing the nation, Tsai said, such as the apology she issued on Aug. 1 on behalf of the government to Aborigines and her administration’s ongoing efforts to tackle labor disputes.
Tsai said the second area is reforms, including judicial and pension reforms, as well as the legislative passage of the Act Governing the Handling of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations (政黨及其附隨組織不當取得財產處理條例) last month.
Lauding the passage of the act as the first step toward achieving transitional justice, Tsai said the purpose of this endeavor is to remind all politicians that what were deemed norms under the former authoritarian regime would not be tolerated in today’s democratic society.
“It is our shared responsibility to create a fairer political environment,” Tsai added.
As for judicial reforms, Tsai said that while her previous picks for the posts of Judicial Yuan president and vice president have sparked controversies, she would nominate new candidates as soon as possible and refer their nominations to the legislature for approval by Sept. 1.
She then turned to pension reforms, which she said are not aimed at triggering class conflicts, further depriving socially disadvantaged people of their rights, or tarnishing certain occupations.
The other two aspects include developing innovation-oriented economic patterns, which are to be facilitated by budget increases next year, and maintaining regional peace and stability, which has seen the government endeavoring to maintain communications with other relevant nations, Tsai said.
She shrugged off criticism that a preliminary agreement on reached between the government and former freeway toll workers was tantamount to “rewarding noisy kids with candy.”