Sat, Apr 07, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Su says no definite agency relocation plan for Sinjhuang

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday that it was a misconception that five Cabinet agencies, including the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA), would be relocated from Taipei City to Sinjhuang (新莊), Taipei County, under an Executive Yuan plan.

Su said it was still too early to speculate about whether the CLA, the Department of Health, the Council for Hakka Affairs, the Council of Indigenous Peoples and the Public Construction Commission would be relocated to Sinjhuang, since the administration had just begun collecting information in order to investigate the feasibility of the relocation project.

Su noted that Minister of the Interior Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) said recently in a briefing at the Legislative Yuan that the administration had been pondering how plots of state-owned land in Taipei County should be used -- remarks that were probably misconstrued as meaning the administration was planning to have five Cabinet agencies relocated to Sinjhuang.

The premier quoted Lee as saying that some NT$600 million (US$18.18 million) could be saved in rent if the state-owned land were developed to house the five Cabinet agencies, which are "snails without shells" -- meaning they don't own the property where their offices are located.

Lee reportedly told legislators last week that a preliminary plan had been worked out to relocate the five agencies to Sinjhuang after the plots of land were retrieved by the government. Lee's remarks drew a strong protest from Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), who had proposed relocating the CLA to Kaohsiung when she was CLA chairwoman.

Expressing her strong opposition to the central government's relocation proposal, she pledged to fight for her cause, saying that Kaohsiung is the most worthy and suitable city to host the CLA as it has the largest proportion of laborers of any city in Taiwan, with 80 percent of its residents being working class.

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