Thu, Nov 16, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Lawmakers protest high speed rail's `unsafe' trials

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The high speed train undergoes tests at Taoyuan on April 18.

PHOTO: EPA

Lawmakers from the legislature's Transportation Committee walked out of a meeting yesterday morning in protest at the failure of the Taiwan High Speed Rail Co (THSRC) to abide by the committee's resolution forbidding the bullet train to take passengers before all safety inspections were complete.

The company arranged for members of the Chinese National Federation of Industries and their spouses to board the bullet train on Tuesday, which was a clear violation of the resolution.

People First Party (PFP) Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) requested that the committee freeze budget allocations for seaport and airport construction immediately. He also asked Minister of Transportation and Communications Tsai Duei (蔡堆) to apologize to the committee members personally.

"I just reminded him [Tsai] about the resolution made in our meeting on Monday, but the next day he just completely ignored it," said another PFP legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞), "What are we doing here? They don't need the money. We have no reason to help the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and can just freeze all of its budget."

Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷), a Democratic Progressive Party legislator and the chairman of yesterday's committee meeting, tried to ease tensions, saying the train was undergoing a key earthquake test.

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