The Taipei City Government yesterday provided records of a Line app conversation to substantiate Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) allegation that Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) “reeked of alcohol” when he came to negotiate the controversial Taipei Dome project on Tuesday night.
The company yesterday said that it would not rule out filing charges for slander against Ko, who on Wednesday said that the meeting with Chao had not gone well because Chao was inebriated at the time.
The city government yesterday made public the Line records of City Hall secretariat employee Liu Yu-ting (劉玉婷) and city government consultant Hung Chih-kun (洪智坤) in response to the company’s statement.
According to Liu, Hung instructed her to wait for Chao at the city government at 4pm on Tuesday with specific instructions not to be seen by reporters, or she would have her pay docked.
Hung said that she smelled alcohol the moment Farglory Land Development vice president of public relations Tsai Chung-i (蔡宗易) opened the door for Chao.
Liu said that while she conducted Chao to the 11th floor to meet with Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基) and showed him back to the garage after the meeting, she smelled alcohol on him “at least seven times.”
Liu said she immediately sent a Line message to Hung saying that Chao “reeked of alcohol.”
In related news, Ko criticized the relationship between big businesses and politics, saying that Taiwan is a nation dominated by tycoons as he gave a special report to the Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Council caucus on the suspension of the construction of the Taipei Dome project.
During the report, Ko said he met with former American Institute in Taiwan director William Stanton some time ago and Stanton asked whether Taiwanese felt it would be respectful to the founding father of the Republic of China (ROC) Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) to build the Taipei Dome directly across from the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.
Ko said that Stanton told him no one in the US would ever consider building a structure similar to the Taipei Dome across from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
Ko said he told Stanton: “[It is] because we have more respect for our businessmen, so they have power above all else.”
The size of the shopping mall in the initial design of the Taipei Dome complex was fine, as it would have been sufficient to cover operating costs of the gymnasium, Ko said.
However, he added, the corporation’s greed after it won the bid led to continual expansions of the mall.
The crux of the problem lies with the greedy corporation and a convoluted relationship between politicians and businesses, Ko said.
Ko also said that no construction company in the world would begin constructing a building like the Taipei Dome within a dense urban area from the start, adding that had it been built elsewhere, buildings would have eventually risen around it and connected it to the city proper in due time.
On the issue of what he described as Farglory’s recalcitrance in cooperating with the city government, Ko said it stemmed from Farglory’s outright refusal to comply with anything, adding that no matter what notice or request for response that the city government offered, the company “just did not care.”
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