Ko apologizes for latest ill-considered statement
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (
) yesterday apologized for a statement made toward a household in Taipei’s Zhongzheng District, stating that his comment was inappropriate and that he has since reflected on his behavior to make himself better.
Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilor Tung Chung-yan ( ) had reported to the mayor that there is currently one household on the district’s Tingzhou Road who is preventing up to 79 other households from retuning home to their residence in the future, after the household refused to comply with the urban renewal demands from the city government.
By regulation, citizens who agree to have their residence undergo urban renewal are temporarily relocated before all upgrades are complete.
Tung went on to tell the mayor that the reason why the house has refused to sign on to the urban renewal project is because the owner of the residence believes his house was built at a very good Feng Shui location which cannot be easily altered.
In response, Ko laughed at the talk of Feng Shui, stating that the belief should not be a factor since the city is only renewing constructions and not building a cemetery on the site. The mayor later jokingly said that he ought to visit the resident to counsel him.
On Thursday afternoon, the mayor visited the residence, reportedly own by a man with the surname Lo. However, negotiations ended later in the evening to no avail.
During a public event yesterday, Ko said he had went to the residence to listen to the ideas of Lo and the reasons behind his refusal to subject his house to urban renewal. The mayor said following the visit, he realized that his statement against Lo’s beliefs was inappropriate.
Ko said that if he were to restart the entire project over again, he would consider the opinions of all homeowners instead of removing uncooperative individuals.
Ko also said that a lot of Lo’s reasons are legitimate, such as the fear of replacing too many green spaces with skyscrapers.
Taipei to Give Taichung MRT Construction Reopening
Ko also said yesterday that the Taipei Department of Rapid Transit Systems will soon conduct a report to reinitiate construction of the Taichung Metro at the Taichung City Council on June 29, which resonates with a previous statement made by Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung ( ) on Thursday. Ko said that currently, the report will be presented by the department’s Central District Project Office Director Yu Nienhsin ( ), but he will not personally attend the presentation for the time being.
Following the report, construction could possibly resume in July.