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Economic Daily News: What Ma needs is to break free of presidency
Central News Agency
2014-05-20 11:25 AM
Tuesday marked the sixth anniversary of Ma Ying-jeou's presidency. His performance as head of the country over the last six years has left the majority of voters disappointed. In the past year, in particular, the credibility of his leadership has been seriously undermined by a string of political conflicts, from his struggle with Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng to the Sunflower Movement against the trade-in-services agreement with China, and most recently, protests against the fourth nuclear power plant. Ma has failed to win people's hearts mainly because he has not put himself in their shoes. If he can step out of his role as president and try to understand everyday people during the remaining two years of his term, Ma Ying-jeou the person still has a chance to make a breakthrough from the confines of Ma Ying-jeou the president. For the public, nothing is more important than making a living and maintaining a certain quality of life. To most people's dismay, however, Taiwan's unemployment rate has remained high in recent years as salaries have stagnated, living costs have continued to rise, and housing prices in metropolitan areas have become unaffordable. Against a backdrop of unresolved economic problems, the surge in anti-government protests has only made the public more anxious and hopeless -- and disappointed in the Ma government. The role of government is first and foremost to improve people's livelihoods through economic policies that can be felt on a substantial level by the people. It is now incumbent upon the administration to create an environment favorable for job creation and pay increases by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship and creating a new growth model for Taiwan's economy. A robust policy is also needed to curb the growing problem of housing inequality. If it can make effective gains in employment, salaries and housing, the government will naturally earn back the trust of the people over its remaining term. (Editorial abstract -- May 20, 2014) (By Y.F. Low)
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