According to the latest survey conducted by Apple Daily, only 35.6 percent of the respondents approve of President Ma Ying-jeou's performance over the past four years, with 64.4 percent expressing dissatisfaction.
Among the respondents, 45.68 percent are dissatisfied with his performance in managing the country's economy, and 60.5 percent think recent inflation driven by fuel and electricity hikes will pose the greatest challenge in Ma's next four-year term.
The results mainly reflect widespread public resentment over rising consumer prices, stagnant salaries and high unemployment, which has struck a fatal blow to Ma's popularity.
In fact, Ma's approval ratings have never been high, standing at 46 percent at his first inauguration anniversary, 42 percent in his second year and 45 percent in the third, according to surveys conducted by the paper.
But despite Ma's low popularity, he nevertheless still managed to defeat Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party in the Jan. 14 election. This demonstrates that the approval ratings of the DPP and Tsai were even lower than Ma's.
If the DPP does not overcome its own problems, the party will lose again in 2016, because voters are even more anxious about the DPP than they are about Ma and his ruling Kuomintang.
The public's dissatisfaction with Ma does not equal support for the DPP. This is a fact that the DPP needs to clearly recognize. (Editorial abstract -- May 17, 2012)
(By Y.F. Low)