President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) credibility and approval ratings have hit new lows and very few people give Ma credit for improving Taiwan’s sluggish economy, a public opinion poll showed yesterday.
The embattled president’s popularity continues to slide, with his approval rating hitting its lowest point, 15.2 percent, since he was inaugurated for his first term in May 2008.
Ma’s disapproval rating, 76.6 percent, was also the highest recorded during the same span, a survey conducted by Taiwan Indicator Research Survey (TIRS) on Wednesday and Thursday last week found.
The poll found that Ma’s credibility score, 21.7 percent, had likewise fallen to its lowest level since 2008, while 66.3 percent of respondents said they did not trust him.
Respondents also gave Premier Sean Chen (陳?) a miserable approval rating of 17.8 percent.
When asked who has worked hard to resolve the nation’s economic problems, only 4.4 percent of respondents picked Ma, which was less than the 4.7 percent who chose Cabinet ministers, the 12.2 percent that picked Sean Chen and the 14.4 percent who said Chinese Nationalist Party legislators had worked the hardest.
However, 33.5 percent of those polled said none of the aforementioned individuals have done enough to fix the economy, while 28.2 percent chose not to answer.
Another multiple choice question found that the general increase in retail prices bothered people the most, with 76 percent of those polled saying the price increases had constituted the heaviest financial burden.
Fuel and transportation costs came a close second at 70 percent, while water and electricity expenses ranked third at 58.9 percent, and premiums for labor and health insurance fourth at 58.3 percent.
The poll collected 1,012 valid samples and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
NO FREE LUNCH: Taiwanese joining the trips to China met TAO and United Front Work officials who urged them to vote for candidates who support closer ties with Beijing The Ciaotou Prosecutors’ Office in Kaohsiung yesterday released two suspects on bail who have been accused of recruiting Taiwanese to join tours to China funded by Beijing and in which they were urged to vote for pan-blue candidates in January’s presidential and legislative elections. The pan-blue camp generally refers to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the People First Party, the New Party and the Young China Party, which support closer relations with China. Prosecutors said that a man, surnamed Cheng (鄭), and a woman, surnamed Yeh (葉), who are members of the China Pan-Blue Association, recruited Taiwanese tourists to join tours arranged
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday slammed a proposal by New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, to permit a “significant number” of Chinese students to study and work in Taiwan, saying it would be detrimental to young Taiwanese. At an event on Monday hosted by nine major industrial and business groups, Hou said that if elected, he would reinitiate cross-strait dialogue on the premise that Taiwan’s dignity would not be compromised and that the talks would be held in good faith. The talks would include lifting a ban on Chinese tour groups and
PEACE AND STABILITY: ‘Taiwan can be of tremendous value’ in building resilient supply chains, President Tsai Ing-wen said, as she encouraged closer ties with foreign businesses A Chinese invasion of Taiwan is unlikely for the time being due to the internal challenges and international pressure that China is facing, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told the New York Times in an interview shown on Wednesday. “My thought is that perhaps this is not a time for them [China] to consider a major invasion of Taiwan,” Tsai said in a prerecorded interview for the DealBook Summit held by the newspaper on Wednesday. Beijing’s leadership is presently “overwhelmed by its internal challenges” on economic, financial and political grounds, while the international community “has made it loud and clear that war is
COUNTER DISINFORMATION: More engagement and media literacy are needed to push back against misinformation and claims that the US is an unreliable partner, the AIT director said The US is “confident” that Taiwan does not face an imminent threat of a Chinese invasion, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk told a US public radio show, adding that Washington remains committed to defensively arming the nation. She made the comment during an interview on All Things Considered, broadcast on Friday on US-based National Public Radio. “There is an important distinction between making plans and training troops, and getting ready to do something,” Oudkirk said, on whether she thinks Beijing plans to attack Taiwan in the near future. Chinese officials have told Washington that “their preference is for peaceful reunification,