Factors behind Taiwan opposition’s sweeping local election wins

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Taiwan’s Nationalist party, the Kuomintang, which had been drawing closer to China in business and diplomacy, suffered a crushing defeat in local elections. The result has been variously attributed to the rising cost of living, protests over trade deals, and concerns over authoritarian China’s influence in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The KMT lost nine of the 15 positions for city mayor and county chief.

Among the factors:

There are at least four lessons we can draw from this:

  • the people’s welfare – not the cronies and tycoons’ – should come first.
  • ordinary voters will be less inclined to vote for the ruling party if the cost of living (including soaring property prices) is burdening them.
  • leaders’ flip-flop decisions on key issues or policies could come back to haunt them. They do not enhance credibility, unless done for principled reasons.
  • key trade pacts should benefit the ordinary people (including workers), not just Big Business.
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16 COMMENTS

  1. This morning BBC world service Business Report mentioned that Malaysians have difficulty saving up for retirement. Many used up ther EPF savings within 5 years. Young Malaysians have to pay one year worth of salary to buy a car, many take up the nine year car loan thus the household debt in Malaysia is the highest in Asia at 80% of GDP!

  2. Anil
    My neighbour who watched Taiwan TV on Astro told me this morning that Taiwan Energy to cut electricity cost for the public as the result of people’s pressure and heavy push from independent TV stations there after the global oil price slide.
    The rakyat of Malaysia may not have the TV media that can do likewise; and the rakyat that go to the street this New Year Eve to protest “Harga Barang Naik” can ultimately get Tenaga to cut electricity bill from oil price reduction savings ???

  3. Malaysia IOI buying a larger portion of stocks belonging to Taipei iconic 101 building.

    Likewise, Mahathir may one day witness China businessmen buying up Petronas Twin Towers ?

      • Soon the 1MDB scandal could bring new low to the Ringgit when BN has to bail it out of debt because of the Surat Sokong as confirmed by Ahmad Maslan?

  4. Unlike here, the governments of Taiwan and Hong Kong are more tolerant towards student movement whose aspirations are not aligned with that of the government.

    There is no ‘cyber cops’ in Taiwan and Hong Kong to nab differing views on the net.

  5. No wonder Fed. Govt. tru EC not keen to endorse Penang state govt’s.
    call for Local Govt. election. Their fear of 99.9% crushing and embarrassing
    defeat.

  6. Corrected version:

    Taiwanese fresh graduates are known as ’22K generation’, meaning earning no more than 22K Taiwanese Dollar (about RM2.2K per month). The salary has been stagnant many choose not to work but to speculate in property, just like Malaysians.

    Kuomintang is supported by businessmen who need the China market, thus favoring trade ties with mainland China especially after South Korea signed FTA with China as Taiwan has 77% of exports that are similar to South Korea.

    The conservative Taiwanese including the young people (Sunflower movement) do not want more business ties via FTA with China to protect the home turf.

  7. mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/sinosphere/2014/10/30/taiwanese-tycoon-faces-charges-in-cooking-oil-scandal/

  8. This may be a factor in the KMT loss.. the Taiwan Cooking Oil Scandal involving a super rich tycoon with strong mainland China ties..

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