Taipei (The China Post/ANN) - Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou's apology to the people is not enough, said former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen at a mass protest, one day ahead of Ma's second inauguration.
Amid a DPP-coordinated anti-Ma protest, the president stepped up to the firing line with an impromptu press conference.
Ma apologized to the people for what he called his unsatisfactory progress in four domains: creating jobs, increasing the average salary, closing the poverty gap, and explaining recent policies to the public.
"It's not enough to apologize," responded Tsai on the streets yesterday afternoon.
"Besides apologizing, the president needs to sincerely think about where his actions and his thinking have gone wrong," she said. "He needs to effectively fix his errors."
Yesterday Tsai led one of the protest's three routes, which converged for a rally at the DPP's Taipei headquarters.
At the evening rally, Tsai identified Ma's chief error as a lack of empathy.
"The president honestly does not know why his approval ratings are so low," she said.
"The president wants reform, and we agree that Taiwan needs reform. But reform has to be done in light of the people's feelings, their lives, and their ability to adjust," she said.
Tsai added that many who voted Ma into a second term are "already experiencing regret."
"I believe there will soon be more people who join us and stand on our side."
Turnout at Saturday's three-pronged protest and rally reached 38,000, according to the Taipei City Police Department.
Estimates were 15,000, 12,000, and 11,000 along the "survival," "safety," and "justice" routes, respectively. The crowd comprised a visible majority of older and middle-aged adults and at least some of each age demographic.
Participants included most DPP heavyweights and affiliates.
"It's intolerable to cast doubt upon Taiwan's sovereignty," Frank Hsieh said of Ma's "one country, two areas" formulation of cross-strait relations.
Former first son Chen Chih-chung joined acting DPP Chairwoman Chen Chu and Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan on the "survival" route.
Chen Chih-chung said he was participating "on behalf of his people in southern Taiwan," who request the release of his father Chen Shui-bian from Taipei Prison.
The People First Party's (PFP) James Soong did not attend, though many had speculated that he would make an appearance.
"This event is not a question of blue or green," said PFP's Taipei City Councilor Lin Kuo-cheng at the protest. "I believe it's about always standing with the people."
Newlyweds, Mom with Kids
One woman, surnamed Kuo, traveled to Taipei from Kaohsiung with her two pre-teen sons.
"As much as possible, I want (my sons) to see this and I want them to hear, so they don't become numb," Kuo told media.
Ma has become "numb to the people's voices," she said.
Meanwhile, a pair of just-married DPP staffers took the "justice" route hand-in-hand, just hours after their wedding reception.
Chang Chia-ling, who heads the party's Department of Women's Development, sported an electric pink gown and sneakers. Chu Cai-qing, deputy director of DPP Youth, appeared in a suit and tie.