Tainan mayor fails to confront interior minister
By Katherine Wei, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Tainan Mayor William Lai headed to Taipei to confront Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) on his comparison of Tainan's railway construction to the Dapu home-razes, but was unable to make contact with him due to scheduling confusion.
August 23, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
Lai's immediate reaction to Lee's words, “the Tainan railway underground project and the Dapu home-razing are similar land acquisition cases,” was displeasure, thus he embarked on a trip to confront Lee in person at yesterday's Cabinet meeting, only to find out that Lee did not attend the conference.
“I hope Lee's words were unintentional,” said Lai, who despite Lee's absence still called upon him to elaborate on his stance in public, to stop misleading the people and stop obstructing the construction of the underground railway. “This (halt in construction) is not fair to the citizens of Tainan,” Lai stressed.
The mayor broached the matters to Deputy Interior Minister Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭佳淇) and the two reportedly discussed the problems of the Dapu and Tainan railway cases.
Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) wrapped up the meeting by admonishing all Executive Yuan units, urging them to understand the Dapu case thoroughly so that future verbal blunders might be avoided.
According to Lai, Lee was attempting to exclude the government from the responsibilities it should be shouldering in the Dapu disputes by dragging in the railway case.
A Misunderstanding: Lee
Lee did not attend the Cabinet meeting as he had been at the Central Emergency Operation Center, on watch for Tropical Storm Trami.
When interviewed later in the day, Lee said Lai had misunderstood him; he had been meaning to say that the land acquisition had been an inevitable decision.
Lee stressed that he had involuntarily brought up the topic of the Tainan railway project when asked about it by the media; but he was only trying to emphasize his thoughts that the Land Expropriation Act should not be abolished, as opposed to making any comment on individual cases of land acquisitions.
Tainan Mayor William Lai speaks to the local media in Taipei yesterday. Lai had arrived in Taipei hoping to confront Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan on his comparison of the Dapu ...