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August 21, 2017

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The Transportation Ministry wants Ko Wen-je to shut his 'alarmist' mouth

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Transportation Ministry threw a barb at Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je on Monday in the form of a press release straightforwardly titled "The Ministry of Transportation and Communications calls on Mayor Ko to end his alarmist statements."

The statement was replying to the Taipei mayor's complaints that work on a disaster prevention unit in Taipei Railway Station had begun in 2006 and been beset with delays.

Ko, who had made the disaster prevention unit a major part of his mayoral campaign, recently criticized the Transportation Ministry for failing to solve problems related to the project.

The mayor said he had been disappointed with the central government's inaction on several occasions.

When it came to some necessary projects, the Democratic Progressive Party had not performed better than its predecessor in the Presidential Office, Ko said.

The ministry retaliated Monday with a statement requesting that Ko be careful with his public statements as he was in a very important position with great public influence.

The act of claiming that there had been a public safety breach without first understanding the entire situation was "inappropriate" and "causes chaos," the statement continued.

The ministry said Ko shouldn't worry about the project's progress as work was underway and would be completed by March 2019.

Ko is partially responsible for hampering the progress of the project, as he had decided to change it from an emergency center to a joint disaster prevention center, according to the statement.

"It will be completed by March 2019, coinciding with a smart integrated project in the station," the ministry stated.

"In addition, there are currently joint disaster prevention exercises twice a year to ensure the safety system of the station."

The China Post intern Jay Cho contributed to this article.

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