Ma as a Mayor

We often read about Ma in the news stories of the KMT vs. DPP, or the 2008 presidential race and such. However, Ma is still the mayor of Taipei. These days he has been under fire of his "smart move" of rebuilding the street vender market Jian-Cheng Circle (圓環) into a glass house... murduring the civil culture of Taipei residents. (Please refer to Get in touch with the public, Ma.

As a mayor, he really doesn't have a clue how to communite with the people and the village chiefs* (里長). Liberty Times has a news report on Ma as mayor: 請益變上課 馬市長惹毛里長 I am including the whole article here with brief explanation of each paragraph in English. (Highlight mine.) (Pardon the "excellent translation" in this one, don't have time and don't care about the quality. Point is to get the content translated.)

Since Ma was elected the chairperson of KMT, he maintained the "Mayor's Trips to meet and learn from the Village Chiefs", to show how he values the local infrastructures. However, yesterday, during one seminar held in Nan-Kang District office, some village chiefs complained that Ma Ying-jeou was not here to "listen and learn" but to give a lecture to the village chiefs and that Ma doesn't have the intention of listening to the locals.

Ma refused to promise a request made by Lian-Cheng Village Chief, Shen Chang-Ching, in releasing 60 Pings (坪) back to the village when rebuilding the fire department branch. Ma was stubborn on the issue. Many village chiefs started to get upset.

In the end, Mr. Shen was very angry and gave up. Later he complained to the reporter that in Ma's mind, he only know how to do things "by the book" and not willing to hear the locals' opinion.

Village chief of Jiu-Ru, Mr. Su Kuo-Hsian proposed a parking lot plan. Ma refused with reasons of flood control and environment issues. Mr. Su lost his temper and complained that the traffic problem has been around for a really long time. The city government does not accept suggestions from the village chief. They simply don't care.

Ma then grabbed the mic and started to talk about a river in Seoul, Korea and environment protection principles. Half way into his lecture, village chief of Hsin-Hsi, Liu, Fang-zi refused to listen and yelled out, "you are here to give us a lecture! I don't think you want to listen to us!" Ma then sit down.

Su continued to say, the traffic issue was brought to the city hall's attention since 8 years ago. Earlier the city hall promised to run bus service to the area but 8 years of passed, no bus service was implemented. Ma was still stubborn and insisted that "if it is something I should do, I won't wait for 8 years without doing it," implying that the proposal does not make sense. Ma said, "I must act more self-assertive, otherwise people will say that I change whenever being told to." He then instructed to go to the next proposal.

Argued with another village chief regarding community surveillance team.

Another village chief, Hung Fu village chief Lin Fu-Sheng, raised his hand and grabbed the mic, wanted to talk about the sewage pipe situation in his village, Ma interrupted him and said, "this is not the motion time yet, please follow the meeting procedure." At the end of meeting, there was no motion time. The meeting was adjourned after the meal.

***** end of article*****

So a total of 5 different village chief tried to present the problem or propose a solution, he turned them down one by one without offering them alternative solution or further investigation into the situation. All he worried about was to maintain his image and not to give the impression of "easily changing his mind". Dear Mayor Ma, should have thought about this before you followed James Soong's lead in the recalling A-bian motion.

* 行政院研考會雙與辭彙資料庫系統說 里長 要翻譯成 village chief or chief of village,但我總覺得應該還有更好的詞,現在一時想不出來。

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