Taipei city councilors yesterday reached an agreement to arrange two dates to make up for question-and-answer sessions delayed as a result of a boycott against Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) — on the condition that Ko apologize at the city council for his “inappropriate behavior” the previous day.
Taipei City Council Speaker Wu Pi-chu (吳碧珠) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) made the announcement following a cross-caucus negotiation, adding that the city government should deliver an official document detailing which Taipei city councilors and city government officials requested controversial “porn star” EasyCards allotted for public relations uses from EasyCard Corp (悠遊卡).
Ko, an independent, on Wednesday slammed his fist on his desk upon hearing a remark by KMT Taipei City Councilor William Hsu (徐宏庭), in which Hsu said Ko’s alleged protection of former EasyCard chairman Tai Chi-chuan (戴季全) over the firm’s issuance of controversial EasyCards implied the two men have a “special/sexual” relationship (特殊性關係).
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
Ko’s reaction raised the ire of some KMT city councilors, who said Ko’s move was disrespectful to the council and demanded an apology.
Wu said that Ko’s demoting Tai from EasyCard chairman to general manager instead of firing him has upset many Taipei city councilors and soured relations between his government and the council.
She urged Ko to be more prudent in enlisting officials.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Council caucus whip Rosalia Wu (吳思瑤) said that although the DPP caucus unanimously agreed that Ko’s apologizing to Wu on Wednesday was enough, it would respect the agreements reached during the negotiation.
She said that while the decision as to whether to apologize is up to Ko, the mayor should choose wisely, as his decision would have a profound impact on relations between the city government and the council.
Later yesterday, Tai issued a statement saying that, starting today, he would take an unpaid leave until Friday next week, when the company is to have a board meeting.
On Tai’s yet unclear fate, Wu said that Ko was “very emotional” and apparently tried to hold back his tears when she told him on Wednesday that his “misplaced mercy for one person [Tai] is cruelty to many others.”
Wu said that both the pan-green and pan-blue camps believe that Ko should “do whatever that needs to be done” to end the controversy surrounding the EasyCards.
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