President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) popularity dropped for a second straight month, a poll by the Chinese-language Global Views magazine showed yesterday.
The poll, conducted by the Global Views Survey Research Center, put Ma’s popularity at 30.1 percent, down 0.9 percentage points from last month. His disapproval rating also dropped 1.4 percent to stand at 55.6 percent.
Ma secured a mandate of 58.45 percent in the presidential election two years ago. However, his approval rating has mostly remained below 40 percent since then, reaching its highest level of 40.7 percent in June last year.
Center director Tai Li-an (戴立安) said that although Ma’s disapproval rating fell slightly this month, it did not translate into greater popularity.
“The public is seeing no major events happening after Taipei and Beijing signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement [ECFA] in June,” he said. “Some might trust Ma, but they are not happy with his performance.”
Since the poll was conducted before Typhoon Fanapi hit the nation over the weekend and caused severe flooding in southern Taiwan, Tai said it remained to be seen whether this would affect public opinion.
The poll also showed that 41.4 percent of respondents did not trust Ma, against about 40 percent who did. As the difference between the two figures was small, Tai said it represented a divergence of public views on the issue.
Despite the uproar over the upcoming Taipei International Flora Exposition, Tai said the poll showed] the controversy had not had much impact on Ma’s trust index, although the event was awarded when Ma was Taipei mayor. Nor did the November local elections have any effect on levels of trust in Ma, Tai said.
On the performance of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators, more than 58 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied, against 19.4 percent who said they were satisfied.
The poll, conducted between Wednesday and Friday, questioned 1,011 adults and had a margin of error of 3.1 percent.
In related news, Presidential Office Spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) yesterday criticized the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for its attacks on the flora expo, saying the party used the same tactic when swine flu hit last year.
Lo said that had it not been for the DPP’s “relentless” efforts to “defame” the government’s plan to tackle the matter, more people would have been willing to receive a vaccine and more lives would have been saved.
Forty-six people in Taiwan have died of swine flu since the outbreak began last year.
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of