The Economist Calls Ma Ying-jeou a ‘Bumbler’, Reactions

From Yahoo News Taiwan:

The Economist: Bumbler, Ma Ying-jeou. Presidential Palace: Making improvements. Netizens: So stupid he won ‘International Recognition’.

An article yesterday in the famous English magazine ‘The Economist’ titled ‘Ma the bumbler’, criticised Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou. He came to power amid great expectations from the people, but after holding power for five years, the peoples’ lives haven’t improved, salaries have stagnated, housing prices have risen, and exports have declined. Ma’s support in public opinion polls is the lowest in history, barely 13%, causing the whole country to agree…Mr Ma is a useless idiot.

In response to the Economist’s criticisms, the presidential palace announced, while the domestic and foreign political economic situation has experienced big changes, the governing team will continue to review itself, as President Ma is also unsatisfied with his current achievements, that the government team is prepared to actively improve, sparing no efforts, hoping to lead Taiwan out of the hole as soon as possible, and hopes the population will keep faith and work with the government in breaking out of its difficult position.

Domestic netizens have been enthusiastically debating this issue, with some people saying Ma is so stupid he has even won ‘International Recognition’, which is also a sort of glory for Taiwan; while others have mocked that Ma has finally found his ‘place in history’; while yet others have cuttingly remarked that the Economist has leaked Taiwan’s national secret; while still others have rhetorically asked if it wouldn’t be easier to simply buy out The Economist?

Ma was once a shining star, but today his aura is gone

The Economist pointed out in the article’s subtitle: A former heart-throb loses his shine.

The article points out that, in 2008 when Ma was elected president, Taiwan’s people held great expectations, and looked forward to opening a new chapter of economic development. At the time he promised ground-breaking agreements with China to help end Taiwan’s growing economic marginalization. Ma appeared to be a fresh technocrat, who could overcome the KMT’s infighting and crony politics, providing a stark contrast to his jailed predecessor president Chen Shui-bian.

The Economists article said, five years have passed, and even though Ma was again elected to office, circumstances have drastically changed, and Ma’s public support has plummeted. According to public opinion data by TVBS, support for Ma has already fallen to a new low of 13%. ‘The country appears to agree on one thing: Mr Ma is an ineffectual bumbler.’

The article points out that, the Taiwanese people’s lives not only haven’t improved, but wages have been set back 10 years. While Ma prides himself on his cross strait exchanges and ECFA, ‘the most visible impact [of this opening] has been property speculation in anticipation of a flood of mainland money’. On the fringes of Taipei city, the average family now needs to go 40 years without eating or drinking to be able to afford purchasing a house. The number of families below the poverty line have dramatically increased. Labour unions have also taken to the streets and egged the Presidential Palace.

When he should be hard, he isn’t hard; his policies keep changing/

The Economist analysed that while Taiwan’s economy has no doubt been impacted by Europe and America, Ma’s leadership style is to blame [for the country’s current struggles]. Ma is incapable of outlining his plans, and is not hard when he needs to be hard. Even worse, his policies frequently change, unable to hold his line when met with opposition or criticism, demonstrating his indecisiveness.

This June Ma decided to raise electricity prices, and popular resentment erupted. Although Taiwan Power was losing lots of money, very few people could understand why prices were rising. Faced with angry public opinion, Ma delayed the second round of price rises originally planned for December until the next year. In addition to this problem, the public is worried that the national pension scheme will go bankrupt in 20 years.

Meanwhile, The Economist pointed out that rifts have recently appeared within the KMT. The previous Executive Yuan General secretary Sean Lin was suspected of corruption, damaging Ma’s honest image, while important figures within the party have criticized Ma as the head of beggars, suggesting that the entire country will become beggars under his leadership. Only thing is, the next election is four years away, and the people within the KMT who would vie for the presidential position won’t in the short-term oust or ‘outshine’ Ma, because after all, no one wants to take responsibility for the country’s economic problems and ruin their own reputation.

The Economist’s conclusion says it looks like Mr Ma’s policies have no signs of changing, but his public confidence ratings is draining by the day.

Comments on Facebook:


This is Ma’s place in history~~ The most incompetent president~


Can we preemptively avoid this? Don’t let him serve a full four years.

Place Lambo:

Thanks to 6,890,000 people, we’ll have to put up with this dummy for four years.


I suddenly really miss Chen Shui-bian…


Me not voting for this idiot President was the smartest decision I’ve made in this life.

Yiwei Chen:

Taiwan’s shame.

Win Wind Lin

The fact that Taiwanese people are unwilling to face foreigners well help us speak!


He himself doesn’t think he’s not doing well enough, yet he collects his salary all the same…


This is our country’s leader… I really feel sad for Taiwan as well as myself.

Junyi Chao:

After seeing the Presidential Palace’s response, it shows Ma will continue to be stupid.


He finally got the ‘place in history’ he wanted. Congratulations to him!

Do you think 笨蛋 is a good Chinese translation of the English word ‘bumbler”?


Written by Stuart Dingle


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