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People approve of civil liberties, unsure of clean government: poll

2013/12/09 16:16:07

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, who also serves as the chairman of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.

Taipei, Dec. 9 (CNA) The people of Taiwan are fairly satisfied with their religious freedoms and with civil servants' attitudes but remain skeptical of the government when it comes to corruption, according to a new survey released Monday.

Of 34 human rights indicators on the survey, respondents gave the highest rankings to freedom of religion, freedom of movement, the right to vote and government officials' attitudes at 3.8 on a 5-point scale, the state-funded Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) said.

The only category to get a score of less than 2 was "level of lack of graft and corruption," which scored only 1.8, the lowest on this year's survey of democracy, freedom and human rights perceptions.

Freedom of intervention in the judiciary and assurance of fair trials scored low, as well, at just 2.0 and 2.4 points, respectively.

Respondents gave an overall assessment of 2.7 to government effort to protect human rights, but in the area of protecting communications freedom and secrecy, the government got a low grade of 2.4, down from a high of 3.5 in 2011.

Confidence in communications freedom has apparently been damaged by the high-profile accusations against Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng of influence peddling, which prosecutors based on information gathered through eavesdropping on his conversations with a fellow lawmaker.

Wang, who is also chairman of the TFD, said at a press conference that the survey is a timely reminder on where the government should try to do a better job.

To the government's credit, the survey shows that respondents were more satisfied this year than last with the efforts to promote equal rights for the physically and mentally disabled, women, immigrants, and minorities.

The survey was conducted by Shih Hsin University's Institute of Knowledge Economy Development on behalf of the TFD. A total of 1,068 people aged 20 or older were interviewed by phone from Nov. 28 to Dec. 5.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Jay Chen)