Changhua County Commissioner Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) sued a local businessman yesterday for aggravated defamation after the man accused Cho of demanding kickbacks in a golf course development project in the central county.
Chiu Shun-chung (邱順鐘), owner of Nan Fong Golf Club in Nantou, accused Cho of asking for NT$120 million (US$4.14 million) for Chiu to obtain the permits needed for another golf course development project in the county, according to the latest issue of the Chinese-language Next Magazine.
Cho, a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), filed the lawsuit at the Changhua District Prosecutors’ Office, saying that he has never met Chiu, has never talked with him on the telephone and that Chiu fabricated the story.
Cho said 20 years have passed and four different county commissioners have been in office since the application for the Chang Nung Golf Club, which is funded by investment from the Changhua County Farmers’ Association, was filed.
Cho said the application was never approved because it did not conform to regulations, and an administrative appeal filed by Chiu was also dismissed.
According to the magazine report, Chiu said it took only two years for him to obtain three major permits from the central government, including an environmental impact assessment, but the county government delayed other minor permits, preventing the development from going ahead.
Chiu said that Lai Wen-cheng (賴文正), chairman of the Taipei-based Wei Mon Industry Co, who is also Cho’s major campaign contributor, approached Chiu as Cho’s proxy and asked for NT$50 million as a first payment, with a demand for a further NT$70 million after Chiu received all of the required permits.
The report said Chiu’s assistant, surnamed Tung (董), recorded a conversation between Tung and Lai’s cousin on another occasion that could be used against Cho, in which Tung said the maximum they could offer was NT$30 million.
Chiu said the development project has since been stalled because they refused to pay Cho.
The magazine said Lai’s company had obtained county government public tenders worth at least NT$4.5 billion during Cho’s tenure as county chief.
In response, Cho said Wei Mon has not been in charge of any public project in the county since he took office and he accused the magazine of intentionally damaging his reputation.
Cho’s younger brother, Cho Po-chung (卓伯仲), has also been accused of corruption. He has been detained since early this week on suspicion of manipulating several tenders in the county and for allegedly receiving kickbacks from a contractor.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu