‘Villa 32’ seeks to be made an example of: Ko
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (
) yesterday said that he has never actively sought out cases of illegal construction extensions to make examples of; but rather, cases voluntarily come to him.
Ko made the statement during a press conference after conducting a public inspection of the Taipei City Pumping Station Central Management Center (
) and the Jianguo Pumping Station ( ). The statement was made in response to media questions on the recent criticisms from real estate agents regarding Ko’s declaration that all illegal constructions within the city could not be bought or sold.
Ko had said that the reason why he had talked about the policy was to eradicate the practices of building illegal constructions and illegal improvement extensions to existing buildings.
Ko went on to use the recent “Villa 32” scandal as an example, stating that the culture of the na- tion enables those with connections to prosper in doing illegal acts freely, while those without connections are doomed to fail. The culture is what gave birth to the immense amount of illegal building extensions, Ko said, which has implored him to order the Taipei Construction Management Office to seek ways to amend current regulations that favor those with connections.
After local press went on to ask the mayor whether he is using Villa 32 as an example to others, Ko said that he never seeks out cases to make examples of, but cases do voluntarily come to him.
Office Director Resigns
During Ko’s interview yesterday, the mayor also said that the newly appointed Taipei Construction Management Office Director Kao Wen-ting ( ) has already resigned from the post having only served for a short period of time.
The mayor said that Kao had applied for a transfer, and had left the post on Thursday evening. Kao had also spoke with Ko on Thursday, which prompted Ko to reevaluate the pressure of being a government official, as well as how he could provide officials with the kind of environment to formulate and execute policies safely.
New Illegal Extensions Discovered in ‘Villa 32’
In related news, during a search conducted on Thursday, the Taipei Construction Manage- ment Office discovered two more locations with illegal construction extensions in “Villa 32.”
The office’s Deputy Chief Engineer Chiu Ying-che ( ) said that in total, the villa contains five areas with illegal improvements.
Chiu said that the managers of the villa have been notified to voluntarily remove the extensions within 20 days, before April. 28. If management fails to comply, Chiu said, the Taipei City Government will take it upon itself to remove the illegal constructions.