Sat, Aug 25, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Councilor says Ma should shoulder blame for Arena

POINTING THE FINGER Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilor Chuang Jui-hsiung also said he doubted the city's ability to operate the Taipei Arena

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should take responsibility for awarding the Taipei Arena management contract to scandal-ridden Eastern Multimedia Group (EMG), a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilor said yesterday.

"Ma's administration set up a committee to oversee the operation of Taipei Arena, but the contract was full of problems. The former administration should take full responsibility," Taipei City Councilor Chuang Jui-hsiung (莊瑞雄) said while inspecting the facility.

The Taipei City Government announced the cancelation of the contract last week, but Chuang also challenged the city government's ability to operate the arena.

"The city government doesn't have any experience in managing such a big sports facility, and has no plans apart from sending dozens of police to guard the facility," he said.

Police were sent to the arena on Wednesday to prevent EMG staff from entering the facility.

Lin Teng-jiao (林騰蛟), vice commissioner of the Taipei City Education Department, acknowledged that the committee had been lax in failing to uncover alleged embezzlement on the part of EMG executives, but added that the city government was following municipal regulations in taking control of the facility after prosecutors indicted top EMG officials.

Taipei City Secretariat Deputy Director Yang Hsi-an (楊錫安) said the city government would run the arena for a year before appointing new management.

During this time, the city government would be willing to renew all contracts signed by EMG, Yang said.

Despite protests, police continue to prevent EMG staff from entering the facility.

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