Former death row inmates Su Chien-ho (蘇建和) and Chuang Lin-hsun (莊林勳) yesterday appeared at a press conference to support lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄), who is seeking the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) nomination as its candidate for the year-end Taipei mayoral election.
Su, Chuang and Liu Bin-lang (劉秉郎), dubbed the “Hsichih Trio,” had been embroiled in a case spanning two decades in which they had been accused of robbing and murdering Wu Min-han (吳銘漢) and Yeh Ying-lan (葉盈蘭) in March 1991. The three were represented by Koo in court and were found not guilty on Aug. 31, 2012, marking the end of the case.
Su yesterday said he has known Koo for more than 13 years, adding that Koo is a good man who is serious and careful in his actions, who always keeps an eye out for the disadvantaged and supports social causes.
Koo helped the disadvantaged and the poor voluntarily, Su said, adding that he was not the only person who had received Koo’s kind-hearted help.
Su said that as a Taiwanese, Koo felt he should also pay attention to political issues, adding that he felt that Koo would be an excellent mayor.
At the press conference held to introduce his campaign advisers, Koo screened three campaign videos criticizing the Taipei City Government’s urban renewal project.
He said that the city government had “been all hot air and no action” under both President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), when he was Taipei mayor, and Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌).
Koo said the city government’s decision to spend NT$200 million (US$6.6 million) to remove and rebuild what is now Jiancheng Circle (建成圓環) in 2001 was a bad one, referring perhaps to the subsequent shutdown of the area’s commercial activities due to a lawsuit, and their eventual reopening in 2012.
Koo promised that if he was elected, he would solve the problem of buildings standing empty and derelict, and make well-planned housing policies.
He said that he would let residents of the city live with dignity in a quality environment.
Koo also said he would rebuild the Jiancheng Circle and again turn it into a favored tourist hotspot, as well as demolish bus-only lanes on Zhongxiao West Road to restore safety and traffic convenience.
Among the first people named to Koo’s team of advisers are Alliance for Handicapped People secretary-general Wang Jung-chang (王榮璋), Humanistic Education Foundation chairman Shih Ying (史英), former minister of finance Lin Chuan (林全), former Judicial Yuan secretary-general Fan Kuang-chun (范光群), author Ping Lu (平路), Academia Sinica research fellow Hu Sheng-cheng (胡勝正), Human Rights Covenants Watch convener Kao Yung-cheng (高涌誠), former Public Television Service Foundation president and chief executive Sylvia Feng (馮賢賢), Consumers’ Foundation chairwoman Joann Su (蘇錦霞), feminist activist Chen Chao-ju (陳昭如) and National Health Insurance Civic Surveillance Alliance spokesperson Eva Teng (滕西華).