BES Engineering accuses Taipei’s mayor of graft

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Oct 05, 2014 - Page 3

BES Engineering Corp yesterday accused Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) of corruption, claiming its bid for the Taipei Twin Towers (台北雙子星) project is being forced out to make way for contractors the mayor favors.

The Taipei Twin Towers is a major construction project intended to service the future Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport MRT line, connecting it to Taipei’s other train and MRT lines.

The project has been plagued with controversy after the initial contractor, Taipei Gateway International Development Co, was implicated in a series of corruption scandals. BES Engineering was designated as the project’s winning bidder after Taipei Gateway withdrew in November last year.

On Monday, the firm accused the government of setting impossible contract-signing conditions.

In an open letter to Hau yesterday, BES board chairman Shen Ching-ching (沈慶京) called on the city government to sign a contract with the firm “in accordance with the reasonable, legally acceptable terms for contract approval laid out in the investor brochure [during the bidding process].”

If the city refuses to sign such a contract, the firm would be forced to believe that the mayor is pushing out the firm to make way for personally favored bidders, he said, threatening legal action against the mayor.

“We are flabbergasted by the fact that BES is unwilling to sign a contract requiring it to put into writing its previous oral promises,” he said on Friday, adding the firm had previously agreed to the government’s contract-signing conditions.

BES has said that it would seek a court injunction against the government. Hau said that based on precedent, there was no way the firm’s suit would stand up in court, because the city government and BES are still in the process of negotiating a contract.

“I think they’re using this as a means of slowing down the negotiating process,” he said, claiming that BES is seeking to wait out his administration in hopes the next city government would not hold it to previous promises.