Ma Ying-jeou memoir to be published this week

HIS VERSION::The former president said that he has been sympathized with and criticized since leaving office, so he felt he should share his experiences

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Dec 17, 2018 - Page 3

A memoir about former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) time in office is to be published on Thursday, in which Ma touts his national development achievements and recognizes his mistakes during his eight years as president from 2008 to 2016.

The memoir, published by Taipei-based Commonwealth Publishing Co, was written by Hsiao Hsu-tsen (蕭旭岑), who was the Presidential Office deputy secretary-general during the Ma administration, and is based on Ma’s oral accounts.

In the preface, Ma said that he was lucky to be elected twice, showing the trust of Taiwanese.

Since leaving office, he said that he has faced both enthusiastic sympathy and serious criticism from the public while visiting places across the nation, which prompted him to record what he experienced during his presidency as a form of self-reflection, and to assume responsibility for history.

However, he can say with a clear conscience that he was always a president with integrity, who loved his people and was hard-working, Ma said.

“However, there was indeed room for improvement in the drafting and implementation of some [of my] policies. I shall shoulder the criticism of the people,” he said in the book, adding that one can only stick their chest out again after they bow in humility.

Ma said the signing of accords with Japan and the Philippines settling fishery disputes that had existed for more than four decades was one of the most satisfactory things he achieved during his presidency.

The most regrettable thing during his presidency was the Sunflower movement of 2014, which resulted in the cross-strait service trade agreement being shelved, greatly jeopardizing Taiwan’s economic development, he said.

The book also contains a chapter about the “judicial persecution” he has faced after leaving the Presidential Office, as well as one that talks about his interactions with his predecessors and successor.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang