Wed, Aug 15, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Taipei City Government annuls EMG arena deal

SUBSTITUTE A city official said that there are seven shows scheduled at the arena before the end of this year, and the city government will take care of them

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Government announced yesterday it would annul a contract with scandal-ridden Eastern Multimedia Group (EMG) to run the Taipei Arena after EMG chairman Gary Wang (王令麟) was indicted on Monday for allegedly bribing city government officials to win the nine-year contract.

The city government announced it would form a special team to run the arena before finding a new operator through a new public tender.

"The group won the bidding illegally, and the city government has to annul the contract ? We will protect the rights of consumers and companies," Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday after a municipal meeting at Taipei City Hall.

Hau said Deputy Mayor Samuel Wu (吳秀光) and Taipei City Secretariat Deputy Director Yang Hsi-an (楊錫安) would serve as the special team's convener and director respectively to examine the arena's operations and negotiate with interested parties.

The city's Education Department issued a public statement to EMG to inform the firm of the annulment, and the municipal team said it would take over the arena's operations as soon as the contract is annulled.

In addition, the city government will continue to demand the group pay the NT$43 million (US$1.3 million) premium it was required to give the city government every three months, Hau said.

Yang said seven shows were scheduled in the arena before the end of this year, and the city government would take care of the schedule.

The Taipei City Sports Department made a call for tenders to operate the Taipei Arena for nine years in 2005 when Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was mayor.

In addition to Wang, former Taipei City Sports Department director Liu Jia-tseng (劉家增) was also indicted on suspicion of receiving the bribe and helping EMG to win the contract.

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