Mon, Jul 12, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Transportation

PFP levels charges

The People First Party (PFP) legislative caucus yesterday said that Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Ling-san (林陵三) might be assisting Canada's Bombardier in winning the contract for the airport mass rapid transit (MRT) system. PFP Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) said that Lin visited Canada during his holiday to examine Bombardier's track and train designs, and Lin approved initiating bidding activities including bidding for the general consultant position for the airport MRT immediately after his return while Bombardier had just won the bidding for the Neihu MRT system and was striving to win the airport MRT contract. The ministry denied the PFP's allegations, and said that Lin did not get in touch with Bombardier employees nor test the MRT system built by Bombardier while he was in Canada.

■ Government

Legislators urge regulations

Legislators are urging the legislature to pass a law regulating the planning and usage of the national territory after Tropical Storm Mindulle devastated central Taiwan. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chiu Chuang-chin (邱創進), also the convener of the legislature's Sci-Tech and Information Committee, proposed passing such a law as soon as possible. Chiu said that Taiwan only had laws regulating regional planning and city planning, and the nation was lacking a law regulating the national territory comprehensively. In fact the Executive Yuan has passed a draft for such a law, dividing the national territory into three main areas: nature-preserve areas, agricultural areas and city and country development areas. The draft also imposes harsh punishments on those who attempt to develop the land without permission in the hope of preventing the land from being over-developed.

■ Government

Corruption hotline set up

Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) yesterday announced that a new anti-corruption effort by the ministry's Inspection Department will come into service starting Oct. 1. Chen nicknamed the service "I'll tell." It is a hotline for the public to report tips on bribery involving government officials. The minister said that in addition to vote-buying cases, other types of potential government corruption will be a focus for prosecutorial crackdown this year. Information from the public will help prosecutors, he said. The number of the hotline is (02) 2316-7516. During office hours, prosecutors will answer the phone in person. Outside office hours, callers are welcome to leave voicemail messages and a prosecutor will return calls within 24 hours. When a case is confirmed, prosecutors will visit the tipster to gain more details within 72 hours.

■ Health

Dengue fever strikes

The Department of Health yesterday announced the nation's 36th case of dengue fever this year. Since the 39-year-old male patient lives in Pingtung County's Chang-an Township and has never been abroad, the department judged this to be a domestic case. Thirty-four of the other 35 reported cases this year were infection cases from abroad. Starting yesterday, the department adopted stringent measures to monitor the state of dengue fever in Chang-an Township, asking residents to exterminate mosquitoes and clean water containers. The department also called for residents to go to hospitals once they catch a fever or feel soreness in their bones.

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