"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mr. Wei spanks the "hypersensitive" KMT

The word in quotes is a euphemism

Last Thursday, July 24, 2008, Taiwanese people had been "picking on" Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) (Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT]) -- about one particular thing -- for three whole days! What was this about? Ma said that the expressions on the faces of Taiwanese people had changed since before his inauguration.

I will explain this "change" shortly, but first some context.

During former president Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) term, the KMT constantly complained that prices were too high, that the government wasn't doing enough to control prices, that the average citizen could "barely survive" (快活不下去!), and so much more.

During Ma's presidential campaign, he told voters that "things would get better right away" (馬上就會好!). He told them that the stock market would climb to 10,000 or even 20,000 points. He told voters, "We are ready" (我們準備好了!).

At the time Ma was promising voters the world, they looked so happy, he said. But now, in the wake of sharply rising prices of things like food, utilities, and many other necessities, with a stock market decline of over 2,000 points (so far), and with a minor typhoon (Kalmaegi) which wreaked major flood damage (probably because his party blocked the DPP's water management budget for political reasons), Ma said with a heavy sigh that the Taiwanese look so "cynical" now. Does that sound like a president who "feels the people's pain" (苦民所苦)?

Show me (where ya gonna get) the money!
Ma made the voters believe that 3,000 Chinese tourists a day would "save" Taiwan's economy. That story changed pretty quickly, with the "promise" changing to an upper limit of 3,000 a day. But the tourists are barely trickling in. There were around 2,000 the first weekend (not 2,000 per day), and there are already fewer than 1,000 per weekend. That shouldn't be a surprise, as China subsequently limited the number tourists to 1,000 per day.

Remember what he told the voters about how long they would have to wait: "As soon as I'm president, things will be better."

The "bad" old days from which we're rapidly "escaping"
By the way, the economic growth rate for the first quarter of 2008 under Chen Shui-bian's administration was a higher-than-expected 6.06%, but Ma's government now says that it will be difficult for his government to reach even 4.8% by the end of this year.

Did anything need saving, or do we now need to be saved from Ma Ying-jeou?

Just how badly has Ma screwed things up?
Well, according to Global Views Magazine (遠見雜誌), his approval rating is currently the same as that of George W. Bush -- who had to invade another country on false pretenses, massacre hundreds of thousands of civilians, ruin the lives of countless others, spend gazillions of American tax dollars, throw the Middle East into turmoil, send the price of oil skyrocketing, and continue to threaten other countries. And we can't forget Hurricane Katrina and how many more flaws were revealed by that disaster.

That's right. After just over two months in office, Ma Ying-jeou's approval rating has slipped all the way down to 27 percent.

Survey says...
Talking Show (Monday, July 28, 2008) shows us Ma's survey numbers from the pro-blue Global Views Magazine (遠見雜誌) and the Economic Daily News (經濟日報)
(Click to enlarge)
UPDATE: Here's a link to a video of the discussion surrounding the screenshot above. [/UPDATE]

The smackdown
On the Thursday, July 24 2008 edition of Talking Show (大話新聞), KMT spokes-whiner Chen Ming-yi (陳明義) made an ironic choice of words in his reply to someone during the call-in segment, and the caller smacked him right back.

The caller, a Mr. Wei (魏先生) from Kaohsiung, had joined in the discussion about Ma Ying-jeou's characterization of Taiwanese people as "cynical."

Here's the video (translation down below):

1:02 YouTube video: "Spanking the "hypersensitive" KMT"

What follows is a translation of the exchange:
MR. WEI: Ma Ying-jeou's policies are giving Taiwan away to China. Does Ma care whether the Taiwanese people live or die? Therefore, Ma finds it easy to call the Taiwanese "cynical" or sei lai ko (it sounds sort of like "washing underwear" [洗內褲] in Taiwanese)?

(Laughter from the Talking Show panel about Mr. Wei's pun)

MR. WEI (continuing directly): Chen Ming-yi, I have a suggestion for you. Since you're here on this show, why don't you act a little more "humbly" and accept criticism from callers. Don't just sit there and protect your "boss" (Ma Ying-jeou), because people can tell whether you are speaking honestly or not. If you want to be like that, just don't come to the show.

CHEN MING-YI: Mr. Wei, I'm not here to protect Mr. [sic] Ma Ying-jeou. I just think that talking about this subject for three days straight is quite enough.

MR. WEI: What do you mean "enough"?! How long did you guys (the pan-blues and their supporters) rag on Chen Shui-bian?! You guys attacked A-bian 24 hours a day every day for eight years! Even during "midnight snack time," you guys attacked him! When our neighbors' ditch [the one that either they themselves or the local government should keep clean] was clogged, they acted like even that was A-bian's fault.

(More laughter from the Talking Show panel)

MR. WEI (continuing directly): So how can a ka hsiao [a Taiwanese insult at about the same level as calling someone a "bozo"] like you act like such a crybaby when the citizens complain about something for just 3 days? If you're going to be like that, just stay away.

CHEN MING-YI (off-screen): What gives you the right to call someone a "ka hsiao"?
At this point, host Cheng Hung-yi (鄭弘儀) is moving on to the next caller.

Mr. Wei from Kaohsiung didn't fall for the KMT bullshit! Show them that you know the real deal, and watch them whine!

* Ma approval ratings hit new low point, poll shows

* TVBS poll from mid-July (PDF file)

* 27 percent: Bush hits new approval low in Fox News poll

* Kalmaegi leaves 13 people dead

* Taipei Times editorial from July 25, 2008: Passing the buck on disasters
Maybe it would be too much to request that the government pass on some of the blame to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators, whose unreasonable partisan bickering resulted in a more than 12-month delay in the implementation of the Democratic Progressive Party government's eight-year flood prevention package.

Instead, we have been treated to passing the buck par excellence, with Premier Liu Chao-shiuan's (劉兆玄) top-level meeting on Monday blaming the Central Weather Bureau and requesting that it submit a report on how to improve its forecasting capabilities. This call came despite the bureau's warning last Wednesday -- a full day before the storm made landfall -- that Kalmaegi would bring "considerable" amounts of rain to both east and west coasts.
* Thousands help clean up after storm

* YouTube Playlist: The despicable Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)

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Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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