Thu, Jan 05, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Acting Kaohsiung mayor angered by media reports

UNFAIR Yeh Chu-lan said that when it comes to reporting on Kaohsiung, the media are interested only in unfounded scandals, while achievements go unnoticed

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Acting Kaohsiung Mayor Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) said yesterday that the city's image was being tarnished by media reports of scandals.

"Kaohsiung is not only about scandals," Yeh said. "My heart is sore. I implore the media to cover the issue more fairly."

Yeh made her remarks during a press conference after yesterday morning's weekly Cabinet meeting. She said she was very upset by a story in yesterday's China Times which alleged that the Kaohsiung City government was involved in a scandal regarding the construction of the main stadium for the 2009 World Games. She said that the media now focused only on unconfirmed scandals when reporting on Kaohsiung, but neglected the city's achievements.

"Our voices need to be heard, too," Yeh said.

In an attempt to refute the allegations contained in the China Times story, Yeh and Minister without Portfolio Lin Sheng-fong (林盛豐), who is also the convener of the tender committee for the stadium's construction, addressed the media. They said that the tender process has been conducted by the book and that all details were made available to the public from the outset.

"Let me remind you that I was assigned to this post in the midst of the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp scandal. As a result, I have demanded the highest standards of myself and my fellow employees. We have nothing to hide -- we are not afraid of being investigated," Yeh said. "However, an allegation like this does hurt our feelings," she added.

The acting mayor said that the 30,000-seat stadium would cost NT$4.8 billion (US$147 million) and was approved by a 13-man board, which consisted of architects from Taiwan, Japan, the US, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

Lin also expressed his confidence in the tender process.

"None of the board members are connected to the Kaohsiung City government. I even decided to give up my right to vote. If the results of this tender process are found to be suspicious, I will not complain," Lin said.

Yeh said that she suspected that certain bidders may be unhappy because they were unsuccessful and warned that she was ready to fight anyone who may be seeking revenge.

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