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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Ma needs a lesson in leadership

When a natural disaster strikes, an analogy is often drawn between a government’s disaster relief efforts and that of its military going to battle. By this analogy, the government lost the battle of Typhoon Morakot.

President Ma Ying-jeou, as commander-in-chief, must shoulder responsibility.

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Ma Ying-jeou, When Images Are Not Enough!

What world does Ma Ying-jeou live in? A clear and painful result of Typhoon Morakot has been that it is a world of images, a world of images past and images present. It is a world of imaginary images, imaginary images that have been built on, fostered and fashioned by years and years of faulty Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) paradigms and reinforced by their propaganda. True in the mind of Ma Ying-jeou, his party and his spin-masters, image has always trumped performance and/or reality. But Taiwanese are finally realizing this. They are not only realizing this but they are also realizing that regardless of and contrary to his words, Ma has no idea of what it is to be Taiwanese.

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Why the US will lead the ‘Asian century’

Not a week passes, it seems, without a big-picture thinker releasing a big-picture book or giving a big-picture sermon describing the gradual eclipse of US hegemony in Asia. True, US power will inevitably decline in relative terms as Asian giants such as China and India rise. But, at least as far as Asia is concerned, arguments about the end of US hegemony ring hollow. For one thing, the US was never a hegemon in Asia. Only some US post-Cold War triumphalists thought it was. The nature of US power and the exercise of its influence was always much more clever and subtle than most assume. In fact, as India and China rise, the US could actually find itself in a stronger position.

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Typhoon Morakot, a Painful Reminder of Ma Ying-jeou and the Peter Principle

With the government's mis-handling of Typhoon Morakot, many have finally come to realize how Ma Ying-jeou exemplifies the Peter Principle--a person that rises to the level of his/her incompetence. For perceptive Ma-watchers this was already evident when Ma was mayor of Taipei. Unfortunately for Taiwan, the general public is often distracted and swayed by promises (Ma's forte) rather than performance and so it only listed to Ma and elected him to the Presidency based on his 6-3-3 promise of economic prosperity. Chang Jung-feng, the National Security Council deputy secretary-general under Lee Teng-hui recently spoke to this and gave the public a painful reminder by saying. "Now as president, he (Ma) is expanding the scope of his ineptitude from the municipal level to a national scale."

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Ma criticized at home and abroad

The administration of President Ma Ying-jeou is facing its first real crisis since taking office in May last year. Criticism of its mishandling of the disaster created by Typhoon Morakot is coming from every quarter, both from the pan-green camp and traditionally blue villages hit by the catastrophe. The international media, which made Ma its darling, is joining the fray, with CNN International holding a public vote on the question: “Should Taiwan’s leader stand down over delays in aiding typhoon victims?”

In a further sign of media bungling, the Government Information Office (GIO) retracted a request that the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents’ Club instruct correspondents who signed up for a press conference with Ma today to submit their questions to the GIO prior to the media event — which the club adamantly refuses to do.

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Ma Ying-jeou's Government Continues to Try to Flip-Flop its Way Out of Blame

If you remember when the USA and Japan immediately offered aid to Taiwan in the aftermath of the destructive typhoon, Ma's government refused that aid. Then, as embarassment rose, it was declared that they accepted it and the first statement was in error. A typo was blamed. Well tommorrow, Ma will meet with the Taiwan Foreign Correspondent's Club (TFCC) and again we have the flip-flop.

At first the Government Information Office (GIO) sent an email to the TFCC saying that Ma would only accept questions that were written out and submitted beforehand. The TFCC president immediately refused and issued this statment to members.

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Newsflash

Taiwan’s efforts to cement ties with China could undermine its vibrant media environment by skirting topics deemed sensitive to Beijing, observers say.

Concern has grown after Taiwan’s ranking fell 23 places to 59th place in this year’s press freedom index released by Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) last week.