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May 29, 2017

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New Taipei City will cooperate with probe of bribery charge: Chu

New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu(朱立倫) yesterday responded to questions regarding the mayor's relationship to Farglory Land Development Co. Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄), as well as possible allegations of bribery involving government housing in Banqiao.

Following the recent bribery scandal involving Chao and former Taoyuan Deputy Magistrate Yeh Shih-wen (葉世文) when securing the contract for the Taoyuan Bade Government Housing Project (八德合宜住宅), Chu was questioned yesterday regarding his personal relationship to Chao.

As Chu had served as a Taoyuan county magistrate before, local media pointed out that Chu and Chao had met during the early stages of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project. In response, the mayor stated that he only had publicly acquainted himself with workers from various industries, and had never attended any private gatherings of that kind.

Chu was later asked to comment on the reported high personnel overlaps in the panel of evaluators on the Bade project with the Banqiao Fuzhou Government Housing Project (浮洲合宜宅), which brings to light possible bribery allegations.

 The mayor responded to the questions saying that the New Taipei City Government will cooperate with any investigation by handing over any necessary documents. However, as the project was headed up by the Construction and Planning Agency (CPAMI), the documents should be provided by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).

 Elaborating further, Chu said that after internal investigations, the New Taipei City Government found no evidence that the alleged middle man in the bribery incident, retired professor Tsai Jen-hui (蔡仁惠), was ever on board as an evaluator on the Fuzhou project.

New Taipei City Promotes Public Housing and not Government Housing

When asked about his opinions regarding the MOI terminating the promotion of government housing, Chu said that the both the central and local governments should be careful when it comes to housing policies.

 Chu also stated that New Taipei City has always backed and promoted public housing instead of government housing. Government housing are projects of the CPAMI and Taoyuan County. Furthermore, the difference between government housing and public housing is that the former could have its land rights sold to another party, while the latter is a property owned by the city government that will only be leased.

Most importantly said the mayor, the public housing backed by New Taipei City is tailored toward the general public, with public facilities and the intent to give back to the people. Public housing projects also seek to attract 6500 more households to New Taipei City in the near future, Chu said.

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