Taichung gas station probed
Taichung prosecutors raided a gas station yesterday to investigate allegations the station was hoarding gasoline ahead of planned fuel price hikes. Prosecutor Hung Pai-ken (洪培根) said the station was suspected of hoarding 500,000 liters of gasoline. Hung said gas station managers could be charged under the Offenses against Public Safety Act (公共危險罪) if they illegally hoard gasoline and prosecutors would investigate more stations in Taichung City and Taichung County. The Cabinet announced last week that it would raise gasoline prices by as much as NT$6 per liter starting next Monday.
Southern chiefs oppose plan
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) said yesterday that she and the heads of six other cities and counties in southern Taiwan have agreed to oppose an Executive Yuan plan to allocate funds for local public construction projects based on the population of each city and county. Under the plan, Taipei County, Taipei City and Taoyuan County would receive the biggest chunks of the NT$114.4 billion (US$3.74 billion) the central government will allocate this year to boost local economies. Speaking with reporters outside the Kaohsiung City Council, Chen said the local government chiefs met in Tainan City on Sunday to discuss the Cabinet’s plan. All the mayors and county commissioners voiced unhappiness with the plan, she said, because it perpetuates the north-south imbalance in resource allocation. They urged the central government to consider the specific needs of local governments when allocating the funds.
Councilor makes wanted list
The Tainan Prosecutors Office put Tainan County Councilor Lin Feng-chun (林逢春) on the wanted list yesterday after he failed to respond to a warrant for his arrest last Tuesday. Lin has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for taking a bribe while serving as Gueiren Township (歸仁) head in 2001. Prosecutors said he requested leaves of absence when they tried to summon him on May 8 and on May 15. Both requests were rejected but he still failed to appear. The office said it did not issue an arrest warrant immediately because the Tainan City Council was holding an extraordinary session. The warrant was finally issued last Tuesday but Lin could not be found. Lin was convicted of taking a NT$300,000 bribe from the owner of an environmental sanitation company to allow a temporary worker to become a full-time employee and oversee the operation of a garbage dump in Gueiren.
Hungarian group organized
A pro-Taiwan organization was inaugurated in Hungary on Sunday with the aim of boosting relations between the two countries. Gyorgy Ujlaky, a former Hungarian representative to Taiwan, was elected chairman of the Taiwan-Hungary Amity Association at the initial meeting. Ujlaky said that as a non-profit civic organization, the association would do everything possible to increase civic exchanges between the two countries. He congratulated President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on his inauguration. Representative to Hungary Kao Shuo-tai (高碩泰) thanked Ujlaky for his untiring efforts to set up the association. “The establishment of the civic body has great significance at a moment when Taiwan is striding toward a brand new and brilliant future,” he said. The ceremony was attended by more than 100 people, including Hungary-based Taiwanese manufacturers and officials from Taiwan’s representative office.