The Straits Times
Published on Nov 18, 2012

Economist report branding Ma "a bumbler" causes storm in Taiwan


TAIPEI (AFP) - An article in British magazine The Economist branding Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou "a bumbler" has set off a media storm on the island, causing even the opposition to give a rare show of support for him.

The report, published in the weekly's November 17 edition, detailed Taiwan's economic woes, ranging from stagnant salaries to a pension system threatened by bankruptcy, stating the island seemed to agree Mr Ma was "an ineffectual bumbler".

"How can a 'bumbler' get a doctorate from Harvard?" said Mr Wang Chien-shien, president of the Control Yuan, a branch of Taiwan's government in charge of monitoring the others, according to the Taipei-based daily China Times Sunday.

Mr Ma, who received his doctorate in juridical sciences at Harvard in the early 1980s, was the target of a "biased" report, Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford was quoted as saying by the Central News Agency.