Radium Life cut from Nangang deal: Ko

RADIO INTERVIEW::Ko Wen-je said he would not let the Nangang MRT project turn into another MeHAS City. He also promised ‘a showdown’ with Farglory Land’s boss

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Jan 05, 2016 - Page 1

The Taipei City Government is to dissolve its contract with scandal-tainted real-estate developer Radium Life Tech Co (日勝生) on a MRT project in Nangang District (南港), Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday morning during an interview on Hit FM radio.

Ko told Hit FM radio host Clara Chou (周玉蔻) that the developer was trying to “make a carbon copy of MeHAS City” (美河市) with the Nangang Depot Joint Development Project.

He then said he would cut Radium Life out of the deal.

The Taipei City Government and Radium Life have been in mediation over the city’s claim for NT$7.6 billion (US$228.66 million) in compensation for alleged fraudulent appraisals in connection with the MRT Xiaobitan Station project, also known as the MeHAS City project, in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店).

The Taipei District Court on Dec. 28 last year found two former Taipei Department of Rapid Transportation Systems (DORTS) officials guilty of forging a property valuation that allowed Radium Life to inflate its estimate for the project while the city government’s estimates were deflated.

The pair’s manipulations cost the Taipei City Government an estimated NT$590 million in losses, while providing Radium Life with significant profits.

MeHAS City was jointly developed by DORTS and Radium Life.

Ko told Chou that the MeHAS City case was “plain wrong” and that he “would not dare let the Nangang development project continue.”

“There will be no replay of previous mistakes,” he said.

“Radium Life shorted the city on 8,000 ping [26,446m2] of real estate, which is an issue that must be decided by law,” Ko added.

“The city is going to seperate its share of the MeHAS City commercial district from Radium Life’s, so that our management of those properties will not be tied to the 25 percent share owned by Radium Life,” he said.

Radium Life officials later in the day said that theyhad not received official notice of the mayor’s decision, and that it would discuss the matter with city officials.

Later in the interview, Ko said that ensuring the safety of the Taipei Dome remains a top priority, and that when conclusions of the dome’s safety inspection are completed in two weeks’ time, he plans to have a “showdown” with Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄).

“There is no room for compromise over public safety standards. That is the precondition for our negotiations,” Ko said.

When asked about Ko’s remarks, a Farglory Land Development Co spokesperson said: “Public safety standards must be uniformly applied according to the law, not unilaterally decided by the city government’s edicts.”