United Daily News: 97% of Ma's campaign promises realized?
Central News Agency
2014-01-20 11:10 AM
The Research, Development and Evaluation Commission (RDEC) has said that of the 404 election promises presented by President Ma Ying-jeou during his 2008 campaign, 401 have either been achieved or have produced initial results, indicating some 97 percent of his goals have come to fruition. The public certainly has its share of doubts. If 97 percent of Ma's policies have truly been carried out, why haven't the people taken note? Why is Taiwan's economy still sluggish? And why is the government as inefficient as ever? For making the assessment, the RDEC should also be responsible for explaining why Ma's approval ratings have dropped to just 9 percent despite apparently making good on nearly all of his campaign promises. Few remember the content of Ma's 404 election promises. What people do remember -- and talk about -- are his "6-3-3" pledges to reach 6 percent annual economic growth, bring unemployment down to below 3 percent and raise per capita income to US$30,000 by 2016. These have conspicuously failed to materialize. In fact, the majority of Ma's promises, including the NT$3 trillion (US$99.59 billion) 12 "iTaiwan projects," are simply means to achieve his "6-3-3" pledge. The government is doing nothing but deceiving itself by saying that its construction projects have shown results. Instead of fortifying Ma's achievements, the unrealistic figure of 97 percent has contributed to his embarrassment, while also exposing the RDEC's attempt to whitewash the administration's failures. This also raises the question of whether government agencies should be putting so much effort into implementing the president's campaign promises. These promises were made to win elections and do not necessarily meet the needs of the country at the present time. Flexibility is in order to meet changing national needs. The inflated statistic is a prime example of the Ma administration's tendency to blindly pursue rigid and outdated index figures at the expense of the needs and feelings of the people and the challenges facing the country. (Editorial abstract -- Jan. 20, 2014) (By Y.F. Low)
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