7.07.2006

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.)

〔記者陳曉宜/?台北報導〕台北市長馬英九當選國民黨主席後,仍持續進行「市長向基層里長請益之旅」,彰顯馬英九對地方基層的重視,但昨天中午在南港區公所舉辦的里長座談會中,有里長當場吐槽馬英九根本不是來「請益」,而是說一堆大道理來幫里長「上課」,完全聽不進基層聲音。
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.

火爆氣氛從聯成里里長沈長慶開始,沈長慶建議消防分隊在該里興建時能騰出六十坪空間回饋里民,但馬英九怎麼說就是不肯,強調市府不能開例,馬英九的態度強硬,在場許多里長也看不下去而議論紛紛。
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.

沈長慶最後氣到不想再說,會後他向記者抱怨,馬英九的腦筋只有「依法行政」,根本就聽不進基層聲音,這樣如何解決地方上的問題,「跟他說再多都沒用」。
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.

緊接著九如里長蘇國賢提議比照陳水扁市長幫中央研究院將四分溪加蓋的模式,也幫該里加蓋做停車場,但馬英九基於防洪、環保不肯接受建議,蘇里長氣憤大罵當地交通長久沒人解決,里長提出建議市府也不接受,根本是說一套做一套。
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.

此時,馬英九起身拿起麥克風以韓國首爾的清溪川為例,滔滔不絕講述環保的大道理,講到一半西新里長劉芳子就聽不下去,大罵:「你都是來跟我們上課,不是請益嘛!就是要來幫我們上課的嘛!」此時馬英九隨即不語坐下來。
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.

但蘇國賢接著說,這件事陳情了八年,之前說交通問題要開公車解決,到現在也沒找到公車駛進來。但馬仍態度強硬地強調「該做的事我不可能拖八年不做」,意指是里長提案不可行,馬說:「我要表現得有主見一點,免得又被說人家要你改就改。」裁示進行下一案。
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.

面對里長當場不給面子,馬英九似乎也失去耐心,舊莊里里長陳忠正陳情該里位處山區治安不好,馬英九則反問:「你們有沒有巡守隊?」陳不高興地說:「里那麼大巡守隊怎麼跑?」馬回說:「我是在幫你想辦法,不要我一說你就說不行。」里長也火了說:「我也在想辦法啊!」馬英九說:「既然你想不出辦法就用我的辦法。」
Argued with another village chief regarding community surveillance team.

最後鴻福里里長林福生舉手拿起麥克風陳情該里污水管接管問題,但馬英九立刻打斷說:「現在還沒到臨時提案時間,請照程序來。」最後區公所也未安排臨時提案時間,在用完餐後隨即散會。
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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