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United Daily News: Holding forums to rescue Taiwan?
Central News Agency
2014-04-17 12:49 PM
In reaction to the recent student-led Sunflower Movement against a trade-in-services agreement with China, President Ma Ying-jeou instructed his ruling Kuomintang Tuesday to present reform plans within two weeks. He also asked the Ministry of Education to organize a series of forums with young people as a way of reaching out to the younger generation. This is a disappointing response on the part of Ma that reflects his administration's lack of proactiveness in dealing with changes and crisis. Holding forums has almost become a routine method for the Ma administration to deal with sticky problems. Over 100 hearings each have previously been held on such issues as pension reforms, nuclear power and the service trade pact, but which one of these problems has been solved? In fact, the student movement does not merely represent the anger of young people at a time of low salaries and high employment. The government's wimpishness in dealing with protesters' breach of public order has also sparked discontent among the silent majority, who are concerned about the damage to the rule of law in Taiwan. In other words, the challenges faced by Ma at present lie more in his government than in his party. The government is losing the public's trust because of its incompetence and weakness, and it should seek improvement in this regard instead of focusing on intra-party reforms. We want to remind Ma: Your government has not only alienated the younger generation but also many diligent citizens with hope for the country. These angry, silent and anxious citizens also deserve your attention. At this critical moment, please do something more meaningful than holding forums and promoting party reforms. (Editorial abstract -- April 17, 2014) (By Y.F. Low)
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