Ma vs CNN
I found this illustrative video on Youtube. Perhaps Ma thought that no-one in Taiwan would understand if he spoke English.
Postnote: Whilst much has been made of Ma using the pronoun 'they', as if referring to all Taiwanese, he in fact used it to refer to the victims of the typhoon. Not that that makes what he said ok though. Even being kind to Ma, he has just insulted the victims and blamed them for their own predicament.