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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

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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China misreads Taiwan ‘dissidents’

The relationship between Hong Kong’s stalled demand for full universal suffrage and Beijing’s plans for unification with Taiwan came to the fore late last month when Hong Kong played host to a high-profile Chinese Communist Party (CCP) representative. Du Qinglin heads the party’s United Front Work Department and came from Beijing to aid what he called the “difficult and complex” task of national reunification.

Du’s assignment was to officiate at inaugural ceremonies for the Hong Kong branch of China’s Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification. The organization, established in 1988, now has chapters in more than 80 countries and works primarily among Chinese communities to promote relations across the Taiwan Strait. A branch was set up in Macau five years ago.

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Snapping Ma out of complacency

Seven days after Typhoon Morakot wreaked havoc in southern Taiwan, President Ma Ying-jeou finally realized how serious the situation is and called a national security meeting. The government’s slow and disorganized response to the disaster has angered victims and stirred criticism across the political spectrum and from the international community.

Ma’s Cabinet ministers may hold doctorate degrees, but they have failed the test this time, with Minister of the Interior Liao Liou-yi and local government heads busy blaming each other while the military “awaited orders” to join rescue efforts.

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A disaster that could have been less painful

With flooding caused by Typhoon Morakot wreaking severe damage in southern Taiwan, experts must now consider how such a disaster could have been repeated 50 years after the notorious flooding of Aug. 7, 1959. Over the past two years, Taiwan’s ability to handle disasters has deteriorated. Compared with their disaster response measures last year, the incompetent bureaucrats in President Ma Ying-jeou’s government have made no progress.

First, Ma criticized the Central Weather Bureau for “misleading” the government last year, and he has done so again this time.

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Typhoon Morakot and the Many Names of Ma Ying-jeou

With the onslaught of Typhoon Morakot, Ma Ying-jeou's leadership skills proved sorely lacking. So as the country of Taiwan struggles to recover, it is time for its citizens to give President Ma a second look. Not just a second look but a long hard second look. This is the man that promised them 6-3-3 and gave them 3-3-6. This is the man who lived on promises but never had a good track record for performance as Mayor of Taipei. This is the man who ironically is already talking like he should be re-elected in 2012. And finally, this is the man that wants the people to give him complete blind trust and not ask for details as he presses for a potentially dangerous ECFA agreement with China.

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Newsflash


Then-vice minister of national defense Lee Hsi-ming, who is currently serving as the chief of general staff, is pictured on Feb. 24.
Photo: Tu Chu-min, Taipei Times

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday censured a number of top navy officers, including Vice Minister of National Defense Admiral Pu Tze-chun (蒲澤春) and Chief of General Staff Admiral Lee Hsi-ming (李喜明), in connection with a minesweeper procurement scandal.