Fri, Oct 27, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taipei councilor decries colleagues' blase approach

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) councilors who serve on Taipei City's transportation committee failed to protect the rights of residents and should resign over their decision to approve six major proposals from the city's transportation department without first conducting a thorough review, a city councilor said yesterday.

New Party Taipei City Councilor Lee Chin-yuan (李慶元), also a member of the committee, lashed out at his KMT colleagues for taking advantage of the party's majority to approve six proposals within three minutes during the committee's meeting on Oct. 24.

Higher fees

The proposals, which dealt with issues such as the city's public transportation fees, would mean higher parking fees for motorists and scooter owners as well as more expensive bus rides, if they were to pass a second and third reading in the council.

According to Lee, the public parking fee proposal suggested that the fee for cars in public parking lots should be raised from between NT$40 and NT$60 per hour to between NT$60 and NT$90 per hour, while parking fees for scooters should be raised from NT$10 an hour to between NT$20 and NT$30 an hour.

Although Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) promised not to raise the price of bus tickets during his term, Lee claimed that the department was planning to raise prices after Ma finished his tenure at the end of this year.

Fruit fight

Lee, who caused a scene during the committee by throwing bananas and oranges at KMT councilors for passing the proposals, said that he was protesting against their hijacking of the city government, while he questioned another proposal regarding the construction project for the new Sogo Department store in the Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station.

The proposal, Lee said, suggested that the city government plans to lease the land to the Far Eastern Group, Sogo's parent company for 10-years or longer.

In response to Lee's criticism, KMT Councilor Wang Chih-ping (汪志冰), one of the committee members, urged Lee to stop campaigning for himself with his groundless accusations.

"If it wasn't for him creating trouble during the meetings, we wouldn't have to pass the proposals so quickly ? He can't accuse us of not caring about municipal policies just because we don't agree with him," Wang said.

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