August 30th protest against Ma Ying-jeou in Taiwan
On 30th August, Taiwanese rallied against the country’s leader, Ma Ying-jeou. Please see report and photos in the following links. According to the organiser, Taiwan Society, approximately 300,000 were there. Some pro-China media reported that there were 40,000 people but people who registered their attendance with the organiser were already 50,000 and there were many more who simply turned up on the day. The road outside the Presidential Office alone can contain 30,000 people and as you can see from the photos from the event, yesterday’s crowd extended far beyond that area and could easily be 5 times of that, which is 150,000.
Some media claimed that supporters were pro-independence supporters or ‘separatists’. However, some of the participants today were actually Ma’s core supporters and a KMT councilman confirmed that some of the participants were his acquaintances and definitely Pan-Blue supporters.
People who are unhappy with Ma’s economic policies and compromises on sovereignty were there to express their views but how did Ma respond? In the morning, Ma went to a charity event to help make ‘moon cakes’ and according to the pro-China press, Ma smiled the entire time as a response to the rally. Later, Ma had lunch with retired military generals and avoided all the questions from the press. In the evening, Ma attended Lien Chan’s birthday party, which was held in a 5 star hotel restaurant in Taipei. When asked by the journalists waiting outside about his response to the rally, he said with a big smile ‘thanks for your concern’. Presidential Office Spokesperson, Wang Yu-chi issued a statement in the evening that the Presidential Office respects people’s right to express their views and they will work harder to ‘communicate’ with the people. He also emphasised that the government’s policies are in the right direction but they need to respond to the global trend and people’s expectations better.
When the South Korean leader failed to fulfill his election promises and was faced with huge protests, he formally apologised to his people twice, replaced all cabinet members and donated his salary as well as his personal fortune of US$30.2 million to the poor. During campaign, Ma promised that he would donate half of his salary like Former President Chen did if he could not fulfil his campaign promises. However, after he admitted to the public that he could not fulfil his promises and when faced with an outcry from his people, Ma did not apologise or show even the slightest bit of concern.
I remember back in June, when 7 Hong Kong protesters went to Taiwan, shouting ‘Diaoyutai (the Sankaku Island) belongs to China’ and waving the Chinese flag, Presidential Office immediately sent the Director of Public Affairs Division to meet with those people. However, when unemployed protesters in Taiwan asked to meet with officials from the Presidential Office, their requests were never met. In other words, since he took office, Ma has always ignored the Taiwanese, however many there are, and favoured the Chinese, however few there are. You still believe that he is devoted to Taiwan like he says? No, I certainly don’t.