Chairman Ma's Interview with "Taiwan Review"
1. What is your reason for running?
The reason I decided to participate in the 2008 presidential election, is that I feel a sense of mission regarding our nation. I feel a concern for the land and for the people. I feel a responsibility to step forward and speak out, to join the people in an effort to extricate the nation from its current dilemma. Over the past several years, under the Democratic Progressive Party's inept and corrupt rule, the economy has stagnated, the standard of living has plummeted, and social tensions have escalated. These are the bitter fruits of the ruling DPP's ineptitude. Meanwhile, other East Asian nations are undergoing rapid development. The rest of the world is making giant strides. No wonder Taiwan's development has people worried. Given these circumstances, the Chinese Nationalist Party has a responsibility to keep the nation on the right track, so that Taiwan can continue to advance, so that the Republic of China can continue to stand tall on the world stage, so that it can remain a first-rank nation with a strong competitive edge in an increasingly globalized world. This is why I decided to become a candidate for the 2008 presidential election.
Over the past half a century, Taiwan has been fearless in the way it dealt with its difficult international plight. It has been the economic, scientific, and technological leader among emerging industrial nations. It has been the political and cultural leader among ethnic Chinese societies. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party however, has been spinning its wheels for seven years. Seven years of stagnation, contrasting sharply with the rapid progress of neighbouring countries and regions, leave one simultaneously baffled and embarrassed.
The DPP has a high turnover rate among its financial and economic leaders. Its economic and trade policies change from week to week. It has at its disposal trillions of dollars in national assets. But because of its incompetence, it has nothing to show in terms of national policy. It knows only how to incite social opposition, how to shift public and media attention from its failures, and how to pass the buck to opposition parties. The people of Taiwan can no longer endure the DPP's outrageous economic, financial, educational, and cross-straits policies. We have decided that Taiwan must move forward. The ruling DPP lacks the ability to govern. It rules by ideology. We have decided to take a stand. All those who share our passionate love for the Republic of China, all those who love the people of Taiwan, must stand together and get our nation back on track, allowing the people to once again find happiness.
What do you think your strengths are compared to other candidates?
After long-term contact with the people, I gradually came to understand people's perceptions and expectations of me. These perceptions and expectations may answer this question. After years in politics, many people consider me uncorrupt, optimistic, affrimative, public-spirited. This is what I have always striven to be. I have always hoped that by being this way, I could lead by example, that I could be a positive force in political circles, so that I could improve our nation's political character. I have been in politics for over 20 years. I have always been what I am. Nothing more, nothing less. I hope that all political leaders, all KMT members and comrades and I can work together to build an uncorrupt and just political party, This is why I actively promoted intra-party democracy and reform during my term as chairman of the Kuomintang. After I am elected, I will be committed to clean government and social justice, to enabling everyone to enjoy peace and prosperity. These views and policies reflect who I am and what I believe. They have won the trust and support of a broad mass of people, especially the middle-class, young people, and women. This is my biggest advantage in this election. Because pan-blue and pan-green voters are largely set, how to win the swing vote is extremely important.
Another electoral advantage is that the people of Taiwan consider the KMT adept at economic development, and able to improve their lives and enabling them to enjoy a higher standard of living. To this end, I have asked former Premier Vincent Siew, with his financial expertise and abundant administrative experience, to be my running mate, to increase voter confidence in the KMT's ability to revitalize Taiwan's economy. The DPP's policies over the past seven years have left the people of Taiwan utterly disillusioned. Their tired slogans and pie in the sky proposals no longer convince voters. The KMT has drafted a new blueprint for Taiwan's economic revitalization. We have proposed twelve projects that demonstrate our love for Taiwan. Once we take office, we will organize a team of financial experts. They will vigorously promote Taiwan's economic development, and replicate Taiwan's economic miracle. allowing the people to be happier and enjoy a better life. We have a dream. We can make it happen. With our past experience, the people can safely believe that the KMT, that Ma Ying-jeou and Vincent Siew, will do better if elected. This is our electoral advantage!
我 之所以決定參加2008年總統大選，是基於對我們國家的一份使命感，也是基於對我們台灣這塊土地、對台灣人民的一份關懷，深深感到自已有責任站出來，和所 有民眾一起努力，扭轉當前國家的亂局。因為我們國家在民進黨執政這幾年當中，政府施政效能不彰，官員貪腐情形嚴重，經濟發展停滯不前，民眾生活水準下降， 社會對立問題嚴重。這些問題，都是民進黨政府執政無能造成的苦果。在此同時，東亞各國都在快速的發展，全世界都在大步向前走，所以台灣的發展狀況實在讓人 感到非常憂心。在這種情勢下，我們中國國民黨有責任將國家發展重新導向正軌，要讓台灣能夠繼續大步向前走，讓中華民國能夠繼續在世界上昂揚挺立，成為具有 強勁競爭力，能夠在全球化趨勢中不斷進步的一流國家。這是我決定要投入總統大選的主要原因。
民 進黨政府財經首長更迭頻繁，經貿政策反覆搖罷，無法延續和落實，他們支配數以兆計的國家資源，但施政續效卻乏善可陳，而且面對空白的政績時，他們只會激化 社會對立，轉移社會大眾和媒體輿論的焦點，或者將責任推給在野黨。然而，台灣民眾已經不能再忍受民進黨在經濟、財政、教育、兩岸等各方面荒腔走板的施政 了，大家有共識，那就是台灣一定要向前走。民進黨的執政團隊能力有限，以意識形態治國的政策和心態出了問題，所以，我們決定站出來，和所有熱愛中華民國、 熱愛台灣的民眾一起團結努力，要讓我們國家回歸正軌，讓人民重新找回幸福生活。
在 我長期和民眾接觸之後，我逐漸了解到民眾對我的觀感和期許。而從廣大民眾對我的看法和期許，或者可以作為回答這個問題的基礎。在我從政這麼多年以來，很多 人認為我的形象是清廉的、陽光的、健康的、公益的，這也是我一直以來希望能夠維持的一貫風格，希望我自己潔身自持，以身作則，可以成為政治圈當中的一股清 流，成為帶動台灣向上提昇，讓我們國家的政治風氣有所改善。所以，我從政二十餘年，一路走來，始終如一，我也希望所有政治人物，所有國民黨黨員和從政同 志，和我一起努力，建設一個健康、公義的政黨，這也是我在擔任國民黨主席的時候，積極推動黨內民主和黨內改革的原因。將來我當選後，也一定會致力打造廉能 政府，建立公義社會，讓所有的國民生活得更安定、更安全、更安心。這樣的施政理念和政策主張，完全符合我個人長期的形象，也贏得了廣大民眾，特別是在為數 眾多的中產階級、青年和婦女這些中間選民的的信任和支持，這正是我這一次參選的最大優勢。因為泛藍、泛綠陣營各有相當穩定的支持選民，如何爭取中間選民的 認同就非常重要。
我們的另外一個參選優勢，是台灣民眾都認為國民黨擅長經濟建設，真正能夠為全體國民帶來實質生活的改善，讓民眾的生活比 以前更幸福、未來可以享有更好的生活品質。這次選舉，我特別力邀具有財經背景和豐富行政經驗的前行政院長蕭萬長先生擔任我的副手，讓選民對於將來國民黨要 全力振興和發展台灣經濟更有信心。相反地，民進黨七年多來的施政，已讓台灣民眾徹底失望，喊出再多的口號和美麗的政策訴求，都再也不能吸引選民。而我們國 民黨已經規劃完成未來台灣經濟建設新藍圖，也提出了愛台灣十二項建設，將來執政後，一定會組成強有力的財經執政團隊，發揮經濟長才，全力推動台灣經濟建 設，讓台灣重現經濟奇蹟，讓國民過更幸福、更美好的生活。我們有理想願景、有能力實現、有過去成功的經驗，所以可以讓民眾相信，我們國民黨、馬蕭團隊如果 當選絕對可以作得更好，這就是我們的優勢﹗