Wed, Sep 23, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Official questions DPP role in high speed rail ‘scandal’

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Control Yuan member yesterday described the construction of the Taiwan High Speed Rail as a “scandal” and vowed to probe the responsibility of government officials under the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration.

“The construction of the high speed rail system is not only a failed BOT [build-operate-transfer] case, it was fraud from the very beginning,” Control Yuan member Yeh Yao-peng (葉耀鵬) told reporters.

Yeh said the Control Yuan would focus on why the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp’s original shareholders were able to undertake a project whose cost exceeds the amount they had invested.

Yeh said a previous Control Yuan investigation showed that the five original shareholders only invested around NT$30 billion (US$926 million), but had undertaken construction projects worth around NT$82 billion.

The five original shareholders are Continental Engineering Corp, the Pacific Electric Wire & Cable Co, the Evergreen Group, Teco Electric & Machinery Co and the Fubon Group.

“We cannot let this go. We need to investigate if the government neglected its duty,” Yeh said.

Fielding questions from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Daniel Hwang (黃義交), Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said the government would leave the investigation to the Control Yuan and prosecutors.

Wu again rebutted media ­speculation that Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp chairwoman Nita Ing’s (殷琪) resignation, which was confirmed on Sunday, had anything to do with the visit of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama earlier this month.

“This speculation is ridiculous,” Wu said.

He said the company had sought the assistance of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications six months ago to become involved in managing the high speed rail.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said he had talked to Ing on five or six occasions about the company’s operations and that the talks would stand up to public scrutiny.

Also See: Ou Chin-der replaces Ing at THSRC

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