Elections 2006: Kaohsiung a role model, Chen says

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fri, Dec 08, 2006 - Page 4

The capital city of Taipei must emulate cities like Kaohsiung in order to develop itself into a better place to live, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said in the latest issue of his weekly e-newsletter yesterday.

With the mayoral election approaching fast, Chen took the opportunity to compliment the infrastructure of Kaohsiung, where Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) served as the mayor between 2002 and last year.

Hsieh is the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) candidate in the Taipei City mayoral election.

"Taipei has taken pride in being the capital of the country, but it neglects the fact that all other counties and cities have grown fast and made improvements," he said.

"One of the perfect examples is Kaohsiung City. It has made a lot of progress over the years and caught up from behind in many areas," he said.

Chen, who was Taipei mayor from 1994 to 1998, said that he hoped the capital would start anew and learn from other cities.

By doing so, he said he believed the capital would have more vitality and growth.

Chen recollected his experience of taking a trial ride on Kaohsiung City's mass rapid transit system last Saturday and described the system as the "pride of Kaohsiung."

"I remember five years ago, I attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the system's R3 station. Because it was built using a BOT [build-operate-transfer] model, it took four or five years less to build and saved the government NT$44.4 billion [$US1.4 million]."

Chen also lauded the cleaning and dredging of the Love River, and attributed the improvement to Hsieh's determination.