Wed, Nov 09, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers want list of lobbyists in Kaohsiung scandal

CNA , TAIPEI

The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) legislative caucus requested yesterday that the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC), which is building the southern port city's mass rapid transit (MRT) system, make public a list of individuals it said had lobbied for the introduction of foreign laborers for the project.

The DPP legislative caucus passed a resolution for the request proposed by DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬).

Noting that opposition lawmakers have been making "sensational" claims about the MRT scandal every day and that the media have been focusing on these claims, Gao said that making the list public would help address the problem.

However, Fan Chen-po (范陳柏), president of the KRTC, said that out of respect for the principle of not revealing the details of the ongoing investigations, he cannot divulge the 70 names on the list at the present time.

KRTC officials said on Monday that after the company was chosen as the top investor to construct the MRT in late 2000, it was inundated with calls from various elected officials and media celebrities recommending foreign labor brokerage firms for the project.

The officials said that the elected officials, including legislators and local city and county councilors, hoped to introduce foreign laborers in order "to get a slice of the lucrative pie."

The KRTC registered the names of the lobbyists, the times when they made their requests, and the names of the brokerage companies that they recommended, the officials said, adding that prosecutors had seized the list several weeks ago.

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