Ma's approval rating slides, media reports

President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) approval rating continued to drop, with the number of those who were dissatisfied with his performance exceeding those who are satisfied with it for the first time since Ma's inauguration on May 20.
The United Daily News made public the results of its poll conducted on July 17 based on replies from 830 criticizes randomly elected from throughout the island.
With a marginal error of 5 percent, the results correspond with those of other polls conducted by other organizations in recent weeks.
According to the mass-circulation Chinese-language daily's latest poll, the parentage of those who were satisfied with Ma's performance continued to drop from 66 percent on May 20 to 50 percent on June 19 and to 40 percent on July 17.
Those who were dissatisfied with Ma's performance accounted for only 10 percent of the respondents on May 20, but the percentage rose to 30 percent on June 19 and to 40 percent on July 17.
The percentage of those who disapproved of Ma's performance was the highest among those who defined themselves as "neutral voters."
Of these voters, only 10 percent were dissatisfied with Ma's performance on May 20, but now it had reached as high as 45 percent. Of those polled, 43 percent said they were most dissatisfied with Ma's leadership and ways of running the government, compared with 39 percent who gave positive comments.
People have mixed reactions on whether the president should come out to tackle administrative affairs by himself. Of those poled, 43 percent gave a positive reply, compared with 35 percent who suggested that Ma avoid direct involvement and 20 percent who had no comment.
Responding to the decline of Ma's popularity, Presidential spokesperson Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said President Ma is very concerned about public reactions to his administration and is willing to accept any suggestions that would help improve his performance.
Lee Cheng-chia (李成家), chairman of the Chinese National Federation of Industries, said he hopes that Ma would find a more capable leader who is aware of Taiwan's economic and financial affairs to head his new Cabinet. Lee pointed to Central Bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) as the most qualified candidate for the premiership.
However, Lin Ming-ju, board chairman of Feng Hsing Steel Corp., said Ma should not be blamed for Taiwan's poor economic showing triggered what he called U.S. housing loan and global oil crises.