Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭), senior adviser to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), said yesterday that the MRT construction program in Kaohsiung will continue with "high quality" and vowed to turn the harbor city into the "brightest star in Taiwan's landscape."
Yeh made the remarks after she took over the acting Kaohsiung mayor post from Chen Chi-mai (
Yeh said that she is committed to the wellbeing of the city and that she will listen to the voices of the residents, plan the city's economic development, introduce more high-tech businesses and reinvigorate the economy.
She said that Kaohsiung's MRT construction will continue and that its quality will not be compromised, promising that part of the MRT lines will be inaugurated by October next year.
She also listed some of the priorities in her administration, including setting up an MRT monitoring team, pulling out all the stops for the preparation for the 2009 World Games, and establishing a city of law and order.
Yeh's predecessor offered to resign after an Aug. 21 riot by Thai workers working for the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) to protest against what they perceived as harsh and unreasonable management.
Yeh said that she can understand approval ratings for city construction plummeted among Kaohsiung's residents, as seen in recent polls, after the MRT construction scandal. She said that her administration will "revive the passion of the residents as well as their confidence."
She said that newly appointed Deputy Mayor Tang Chin-chuan (湯金全) is a former vice minister of justice and a legal expert. Another deputy mayor, Cheng Wen-lung (鄭文隆), is an engineering expert. Liao Ching-lung (廖慶隆), former director general of the Bureau of High Speed Rail, will also be invited to join her new administration, she said.
With their expertise in legal and engineering affairs, Yeh said she is confident that the MRT's construction will proceed smoothly.