Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday dismissed speculation about the timing of the resignation of Department of Urban Development commissioner Ting Yu-chun (丁育群) amid the ongoing investigation on corruption in the Taipei Twin Towers project, and stressed that the city government would cooperate with the probe.
Hau on Monday approved the resignation of Ting, a member of the 17-member review committee for the project, and invited National Chengchi University land economics professor Ben Tai-ming (邊泰銘) to take over the post.
Ting, 60, said he had offered his resignation in 2011 due to poor health and was determined to resign this year after he was diagnosed with liver cancer in January. However, his resignation has sparked speculation he may have been involved in the scandal.
Hau expressed regret over the speculation and said that the public should not jump to conclusions before the results of the investigation are announced.
“The preliminary investigation found he was not involved in the scandal. Speculation [about his role in the project] has hurt commissioner Ting’s reputation, forcing him to discuss his disease in public,” he said.
Ting joined Hau’s team in 2008, and will resume his post as an urban development professor at Chinese Culture University in September.
Prosecutors detained Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Lai Su-ju (賴素如) over her alleged role in the bribery scandal. She allegedly agreed to help a multinational consortium win the bid for the Taipei Twin Towers project in exchange for a kickback of NT$10 million (US$334,700).
Taipei City Department of Finance Commissioner Chiu Da-chan (邱大展) was summoned by prosecutors last week to explain his role in the project amid allegations that he had leaked the list of project review committee members to the developer.
Amid speculation that top city officials and more Taipei City councilors may be involved in the bribery scandal, Hau said the city government would respect the investigation, but prosecutors should speed up the probe and put an end to rumors about the case.
“We expect the prosecutors to find out the truth about the scandal and conclude the investigation as soon as possible. On the other hand, we urge the public not to jump into conclusions and we do not want any city officials to be hurt by groundless speculation,” he said.
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up