Ma Ying-jeou's Anti-Corruption Freezes When It Comes to Taipei Flora Scandal

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 [1]:

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 [2], 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.

Comparison of the documents Taipei City sent to the DPP councilor Jian Yu-yen (簡余晏)(left) and that the KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) obtained (right). The Taipei City wiped off signatures of responsible personnel (marked with red) before the doc was sent to Jian.

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 [3] that he is the one who made the final decisions:


Hau Lung-bin said yesterday that the decision making process of city government is always about collective wisdom, echelon responsibility and respect of expertise. Many share their opinions, but the final decisions are always made by myself.

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 forge compile/destroy crucial evidence that could implicate higher level officials ? How many documents have already been forged -- like the one shown in this article -- or destroyed already?

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 [4] 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.

Case closed?

With a stunning efficiency (hey, the year-end election is coming!), mayor Hau announced [5] 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 [6], 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.

Further Readings:

2010.8.27: DPP city councilors file lawsuit against Hau

2010.8.28: Hau apologizes over expo, overpass

2010.9.5: Overpass task force short on answers

2010.9.5: Taipei prosecutors begin investigation into city government overpricing scandal
(Note: this page provides both text in both English and Chinese. While in the English version it says prosecutors start the investigation, it is not mentioned in its Chinese version. So far none of all news in Chinese I know ever mentioned that Taipei District Office started investigating)


[1] The Join Engineering Consultants Finally Spoke out! Crucial: Who Gave the Order? Who Signed the Docs? Why the Amount Matched ? (昭淩終於說話了!關鍵問題是:誰是「鈞長」指令?市政會議、工程會報裡誰指示了?公文內簽誰曾看過?金額為何這麼剛好?)

[2] Forged Flora Expo Docs With Liquid Paper ? Big Difference In the Official Docs Given to Pro-blue and Pro-green Representatives (花博公文塗立可白?! 綠藍民代調閱差很大!!)

[3] Getting Rid of Flora Storm, Pan-Blue Pledged Full Support on Hau (擺脫花風暴 泛藍全力挺郝龍斌)

[4] Battle Of Five Cities / Full Support to Hau to the End - King Pu-tsung (五都爭霸/力挺郝龍斌到底!金溥聰:對抗分裂的民進黨)

[5] Taipei City Hands Over 3 Officials to Justice For The Xinsheng Overpass Scandal (新生高弊案 北市3官員送辦)

[6] Xinsheng Overpass / Taipei City Government Already Knew About the Overpricing Two Years Ago (新生高工程/報價有問題 北市府2年前就知情)