The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday accused Minister of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) of disregarding advice from transportation experts and using tax funds to help President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) win re-election.
The ministry’s review of railway grade separation projects came under scrutiny after the resignations of two transportation experts on a Taoyuan committee who said that the ministry did not follow proper procedure.
One of experts, Tamkang University Department of Transportation Management professor Chang Sheng-hsiung (張勝雄), secured endorsements from nearly 1,000 transportation experts and specialists within 36 hours of his petition calling for an open and transparent system to review important projects.
He did so after Lin accused him of being one of a small group of experts who tried to impose his opinions on government officials and the majority view.
“Before she became president, Tsai said that communicating was what she did best and the nation does not have a shortage of electricity supply,” KMT spokesperson Huang Hsin-hua (黃心華) said. “She was lying.”
“Then her administration deviated from the right path by hoodwinking members on the environmental impact assessment committee to have the nation’s third liquefied natural gas terminal built at the Guantang Industrial Park (觀塘工業區) in Taoyuan,” Huang said. “As a Cabinet member, Lin now belittles professionals when expressing their opinions.”
Taipei City Councilor Lee Ming-hsien (李明賢) asked whether Lin’s insistence that Chang’s opinion cannot supersede the majority on the committee means that only the Democratic Progressive Party’s, Lin’s and Tsai’s words count.
Former MOTC deputy minister Chen Shi-yi (陳世圯) said that the Taoyuan Grade Separation Project was changed from an elevated line to an underground plan, lifting the proposed budget from NT$30 billion (US$983.4 million) to more than NT$100 billion.
The ruling party should be more cautious in pushing important public infrastructure projects and avoid using them as election tools, Chen said.
The ministry said that Lin has already said he supports Chang’s call for an open and transparent review mechanism for railway projects and a re-evaluation of the ministry’s railway project policy.
The KMT should check its information before making accusations, it said.
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