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CHISHAN, Taiwan — If President Ma Ying-jeou thought he might be treated presidentially on Wednesday as he toured a center for survivors of last weekend’s typhoon, he was mistaken.
The moment he stepped onto a soccer field that had been doubling as a landing pad for rescue helicopters, Mr. Ma was besieged by angry villagers who accused his administration of moving too slowly to help those still trapped in the mountains near here.
As they hurled insults at him, the skies opened and Mr. Ma quickly became drenched to the skin, all of it captured live on television.
“Save us, people are dying,” the villagers yelled while holding aloft handmade banners that read “The government doesn’t value human life.”
On Monday, during an earlier tour of his waterlogged nation, Mr. Ma was seen promising a bulldozer to a man who was searching for the body of his father. Two days later, after failing to persuade officials to make good on the pledge, the man, Lee Yu-ying, was forced to rent his own equipment to dig out his father’s mud-encased car.
“What kind of help was that?” Mr. Lee asked TVBS, a cable news channel.
Aijo Wu, a 23-year-old law student who has had no word from her extended family in the village of Taoyuan, was the last person to talk to Mr. Ma before his security detail whisked him away. She begged him to speed up the pace of the rescue efforts, but after he left she was less timid in her comments to reporters.
“If there are 20,000 people stranded but the army is only using 30 of their helicopters, a lot of people are going to die,” she said. “I’m angry that the president won’t ask the outside world for help.”
Family members and Taiwanese media cast a critical eye on the government's response, focusing on President Ma Ying-jeou. "The rescue has been too slow. The government rescue team doesn't seem to be well coordinated. It doesn't look like we have enough resources, either," said Chang Hsiu-yu, a Taipei resident whose relatives have been trapped in a village next to Shiao Lin.
Critics focused on the Ma administration's decision to refrain from issuing an emergency order that would give the government greater power to requisition personnel and equipment. The government has also declined to ask for assistance from international organizations.
Ma Ying-jeou: Creating closer ties
Elected with the largest margin of victory in the history of Taiwan's presidential elections, President Ma Ying-jeou is aiming to bring the good times back to Taiwan while looking to a friendlier future with China.
Winning 58 percent of the vote, Ma was swept to victory on the promise of economic growth but through the more controversial method of building closer ties with China.
Originally posted by MightyAl
reply to post by Donnie Darko
Any attempt in reunion with the mainland, or any rumour about it, will create a demonstration, but the Taiwanese today are not "rebelish" enough to actually launch a revolution. That would be great if enough people had the guts for that! I'd join as long as the government didn't a) take out their guns, b) put me in jail, c) deport me
Originally posted by Donnie Darko
Shades of Katrina .....