The scandal of sky-high overpayment by Taipei City government in the preparation of upcoming Taipei International Flora Expo (TIFE) keeps revealing more and more audacious behaviors of the city officials. City councilors from both the KMT and the DPP parties have been trying hard to request the official decision-making documents but got stonewalled again and again. The officials gave an excuse that they need to "compile" those documents first.
Lets see if we can cover it up
We didn't learn the meaning of "compile" until the documents were finally handed over. The DPP's Taipei City Councilor, Jian Yu-yen (簡余晏), examined one of the them :
|The compiled official document of calling for public bidding on the Xinsheng Overpass (新生高第七次招標公文) presented by Taipei City government shows signs of forgery.|
It shows that some of the words were scratched out and manually replaced with new ones.
But that's not all. In a TV program on Sept 4th , the KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) displayed the real document she obtained from the Taipei City government. It shows something not seen on the forged version -- the signatures of personnel who signed off the project. That is, the Taipei City government whited out those signatures before they gave it to Councilor Jian, a blatant act to conceal responsible officials.
From the comparison of two versions above, the Taipei City removed the signatures of former section chief Chen Chih-sheng (前科長陳智盛陳智盛), Specialized Commissioner Chi Lan-sheng (專門委員池蘭生), former chief engineer of the department Chang Li-yen (前總工程司章立言) and former commissioner of the New Construction Department Huang Hsi-hsung (前新工處長黃錫薰):
Oh No !!! Scapegoat, any one ?
Those names eventually came out under tremendous pressures. Under heavy critics, the Taipei City mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), who is also KMT's candidate for Taipei mayor in the year-end election, organized an anti-corruption task force from within the city government to investigate the potential corruption inside the city government -- that is, a "self-investigation" on the alleged corrupt party by the alleged corrupt party.
In a response to critics that Hau's administration is controlled by a 4-person-gang later, which is the presumed reason for the incompetence in his government, Hau insisted  that he is the one who made the final decisions:
If that so, then it's obvious who is responsible. Therefore the so-called internal investigation looks like a scapegoat-pinning show to shirk his responsibilities.
Please, don't wake me up!
Meanwhile, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who always made strong anti-corruption claims to show off his determination on cracking down corruptions, keeps a blind eye;
The Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien (王建煊), whose main responsibility is to supervise all levels of governments, keeps a blind eye;
The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office (台北地檢署), which won't hesitate to go full speed in response to any corruption rumor on the opposite party, keeps a blind eye;
Update: Finally, prosecutors raid Taipei City’s construction office. It is 3 weeks after continuous exposure of scandal evidence to the public by DPP's councilors. Why did The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office took so long to take action? Did they give the Taipei City enough time to
Despise that the TIFE scandal has already wasted tax money much more than the amount the former President Chen Shui-bian was accused corruption of, KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) pledged  that the KMT will support Hau fully no matter what.
Thus, the entire system of Ma Ying-jeou and KMT's anti-corruption functioning went into hibernation, leaving the suspected officials -- who don't have the legal right -- to investigate themselves.
With a stunning efficiency (hey, the year-end election is coming!), mayor Hau announced  the result of this self investigation -- Chang, Chen and Huang are sent to the prosecutors' office, along with the Join Engineering Consultants (JEC, 昭凌工程顧問), the constructor in charge of all those alleged overpricing projects related to TIFE. No mention of responsibility of Specialized Commissioner Chi Lan-sheng, one of the signatures the Taipei City tried to hide.
The JEC, to which as huge as $13,000,000,000 New Taiwan dollars (~ $400 million US dollars) of tax payers' money went, was previously a KMT-owned property, and now still has the KMT as the largest stock holder. The company was ruled previously as illegal to carry out governmental contracts due to the company's notorious history of bribery and sex seduction, but the Taipei City government ignored the ruling and allowed them to take the contracts anyway. Further more, official documents show that Taipei City government already knew about the overpricing TWO YEARS ago , but allowed the overpaying to keep going. No matter how you see it, the entire flora scandal in Taipei looks more like a KMT-government-directed money laundering.