During the third legislative mandate, or the five years of government ending in September 2008, the government only met about a quarter of the 19 measurable goals in its 73-point platform, according to the Committee for Free and Fair Elections.
According to the Comfrel statement received Thursday, the platform of the third legislature had 73 points, of which 19 were sufficiently precise to be measurable, and of those the government only met five: economic growth; an increase in salary for government officials; creation of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training; a tax exemption policy on agricultural land; and upholding the One-China policy, or the principle that China and Taiwan are one country.
The 11 measurable goals that weren’t met, according to the statement, included: establishing a national committee for human rights, recognizing the role of the opposition parties, and drafting and passing laws on anti-corruption and demonstrations.
Three of the 19 measurable goals were partly met, including reform of the legal system, Comfrel Executive Director Koul Panha said.
Comfrel did not study why the government met some goals and not others in the last mandate, Mr Koul Panha said, but noted goals related to good governance tended to fare badly.
“The good government reforms, they didn’t achieve so many,” he said.
Asked why the government didn’t achieve more of its goals, CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said, “They can say anything they want about the government, but we just commit ourselves to working hard to serve the people.”
The government chooses the goals “very carefully, thinking about the needs of the people,” he added.
The government’s current platform, which only has 48 points, includes goals it failed to meet in the third mandate, such as fighting corruption and legal reform, Mr Koul Panha said, but is also “too broad and uses some vague words,” making it difficult for voters to measure the performance of officials.
“In the future, I would suggest the government use the precise indicator because it is helpful for the voter,” he said.
Mr Cheam Yeap denied that any goals were vague.
“Everything is done with a clear plan,” he said, adding that the words in the platform such as “continue,” “promote,” “reinforce” and “strengthen,” which the Comfrel release calls vague, just mean “will do.”