Tue, Sep 22, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Ko tells city council he is sorry, asked Tai to resign

Staff writer, with CNA

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je yesterday apologizes to Taipei City Council for losing his temper during a council meeting on Wednesday last week.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday bowed and apologized to Taipei city councilors for losing his temper while attending a council meeting last week.

Ko said he had already called Taipei City Council Speaker Wu Pi-chu (吳碧珠) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to offer his apology immediately after the incident.

“You just have to correct mistakes. I deserve the criticism I received,” Ko said.

Ko on Wednesday last week angrily pounded his desk after KMT Taipei City Councilor William Hsu (徐宏庭) accused him of being partial to former EasyCard Corp chairman Tai Chi-chuan (戴季全) and insinuated that he and Tai had a “special/sexual” relationship (特殊性關係).

EasyCard, a semi-governmental company in which the Taipei City Government is the largest shareholder, mainly issues smart stored-value cards called EasyCards that are used to pay for fares on Taipei’s MRT and bus system.

The desk-pounding incident occurred one day after Ko decided to propose to EasyCard’s board that Tai be removed as chairman, but retained as general manager, following Tai’s controversial decision to issue EasyCards featuring photographs of Japanese adult video star Yui Hatano.

The personnel change was widely criticized as meaningless, because as general manager, Tai would remain the company’s top administrator.

Many believe that Tai received favorable treatment because he served as Ko’s campaign director in last year’s mayoral race.

Ko yesterday told city councilors that he had asked Tai to resign as EasyCard chairman and general manager, and that he has called for an investigation.

Tai and the company have been rebuked by the public, especially by women’s groups, since it announced on Aug. 26 that it was collaborating with Hatano to introduce a two-card limited edition series to raise money for charity.

Although the company said that all 15,000 sets of the cards were sold out via telephone preordering services on Sept. 1, it was later discovered that the firm had reserved 3,000 sets of the cards in advance for sale to its own workers or as gifts to Taipei City councilors and Taipei City Government officials.

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