Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s poll ratings at 13%

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President Ma Ying-jeou’s popularity rating still stood at a low of 13 percent despite recent comments about an improving economy, an opinion poll revealed Tuesday.
Ma spoke of a better and hopeful future in 2013 during his official New Year’s speech, but according to the survey conducted by cable station TVBS, 70 percent of the public was still dissatisfied with him. His 13-percent support level coincided with his lowest ratings for the past few months.
A total of 58 percent of poll respondents said they did not trust the president, showing he had a lot of work ahead to win back the confidence of the people, reports said. The survey showed only 31 percent had faith in Ma.
Turning to the future, 64 percent did not believe he would improve, while only 27 percent did. Most of the survey figures corresponded to the equally low numbers Ma scored in previous recent polls, reports said.
The popularity ratings for the Cabinet headed by Premier Sean Chen had only showed a slight improvement, with his personal score rising to 23 percent and his dissatisfaction level falling slightly to 55 percent.
The Cabinet’s overall performance still only pleased 25 percent of respondents, with a rising proportion of 69 percent saying they did not approve of the government team.
Three months ago, the Ma Administration promised the public would feel improvements in the economy by the end of 2012, but only 15 percent said they did, with 78 percent saying they had not felt any improvements.
More than half the respondents, 51 percent, said the government was still not doing enough to bring about an economic recovery, boost growth and exports, and keep unemployment and inflation down.
The TVBS opinion survey center conducted the poll by phone during the evenings of December 24-26. A total of 1,224 Taiwanese citizens gave valid responses to the survey, which had a margin of error of 2.8 percent, TVBS said.
Ma was re-elected to a second and final term in office almost a year ago, but his opinion poll ratings plummeted dramatically over the following months, as he insisted on pushing through unpopular measures.
The issues included the lifting of a ban on the import of United States beef with residues of ractopamine, a hike in the prices of electricity and oil products, and the introduction of a capital gains tax on stocks. At the same time, he also faced corruption scandals hitting government officials and accusations of ineffectiveness and hesitation on pension reform measures.