Thu, Oct 11, 2018 - Page 3 News List

New Dome contractor changes nothing: Ko

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff Reporter

Premier William Lai, left, and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je attend the National Day ceremony at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said his stance on the Taipei Dome debacle would not change no matter who the developer is, amid rumors that contractor Farglory Group is planning to sell part of its rights to the Dome.

The Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine yesterday reported that as the controversy surrounding the project has remained unsettled for several years, Farglory is planning to sell part of its stock rights to the Dome’s operations to a “well-known” Japanese company and a local insurance company.

Ko said he had read the report and reiterated that the Taipei Urban Design Review Committee would not approve the project without going through the required review procedure, but would not make it especially difficult for the contractor, either.

Although Taipei City Government officials would not be present during the review to avoid a conflict of interest, the review would be streamed live on the Internet to ensure a transparent and fair process, he said, adding that the public would therefore know that the project has passed the necessary reviews.

Taipei Department of Urban Development Commissioner Lin Jou-min (林洲民) said he does not know whether Farglory wants to sell the project, but the department would require the contractor to submit its designs for review.

Although the names of potential developers are withheld, the development plans they submit should be reviewed according to legal procedures and requirements, Ko said.

Taipei Department of Legal Affairs Commissioner Yuan Hsiu-hui (袁秀慧) said if the stock rights are sold to another company, the new contractor would still need to pass the reviews to resume the construction, but added that the city government has a contract with Farglory, so the company still has to deal with the 39 items that the Control Yuan had designated as improper.

Separately, Ko yesterday handed out 3,000 free “buzz backpacks” in front of Taipei City Hall in celebration of Double Ten National Day.

It was the final time for Ko to hand out the popular bags before his first term as Taipei mayor ends in December.

More than 3,000 people had lined up outside city hall as of 2am in the hopes of getting one of the limited backpacks.

When a reporter asked if the attention was due to people thinking it was their last chance to receive a backpack, Ko said the quality of the backpacks this year has surpassed those of the previous years, but its cost did not increase, which shows that the city government is improving.

Ko on Tuesday night wrote on Facebook that he would on YouTube talk “face-to-face” with city residents while on the move and answer their questions.

The live chats would be held at 8pm every Thursday, starting today, he said.

Additional Reporting by CNA

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