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Tsai pans Ma on Facebook, breaks '16 silence

By Enru Lin--Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen yesterday published on Facebook a 3028-character open letter addressed to President Ma Ying-jeou in which she said the government was ignoring growing public discontent.

The letter came one day after Tsai broke her silence on a possible second run for president in 2016, saying in a SET TV (三立電視) interview, “We should never rule out all other options, because it's the people who make the final choice.”

In her letter, Tsai, who lost to Ma in the Jan. 14 presidential election, wrote: “I don't mean to join the 'criticizing-Ma' or 'anti-Ma' bandwagon. But recently the central administration has turned a deaf ear to growing popular discontent ... so there is no alternative but to bluntly remonstrate with the president.”

Tsai said that the Ma administration has bungled big policy issues like price hikes for utilities, U.S. beef imports, and the stock gains tax.

“Whether it's in policy formulation, the decision-making process, or implementation, the central administration has absolutely lacked the sincere desire to communicate with the people and the ability to rationally persuade,” she said.

The government's series of crude policies has led to “boiling anger” and “driven the people to the streets,”according to Tsai.

She called for Ma to “respond to the worries of the people,” “to reconsider a comprehensive Cabinet reshuffle, “to pay real attention to public opinion,” and “to resist improper political pressure.”

One Country, Two Areas: Reprise

Tsai again questioned the Kuomintang's (KMT) latest formula for cross-strait relations: “one country, two areas” (一國兩區).

On March 22, KMT Honorary Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) told Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) that Ma abides by “one country, two areas” as a concept for cross-strait relations.

“Are mainland China and Taiwan the same country? In the future, will cross-strait relations be based on the premise of 'one country, two areas'?” wrote Tsai.

Tsai stressed that “one country, two areas” is a violation of the Constitution's intended purpose: to protect the land of Taiwan and the basic rights of the people.

By endorsing the “one country, two areas,” Ma has harmed Taiwan sovereignty and committed a “serious dereliction of duty,” she said late Sunday.

In the same interview on Sunday, Tsai broke her silence on a possible rerun for president.

SET TV asked Tsai whether she intends to run again, noting that four out of the five candidates for chair of the DPP chairmanship have expressed support for her campaign.

Tsai said politicians share a responsibility to “continually make the self one of the possible options.”

But she added that it's important to keep the field open.

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