Taoyuan County Commissioner John Wu was out there apologizing to the taxpayers for (yet another) land development scandal involving KMT politicians....
Yeh Shih-wen (葉世文) was dismissed from his position as deputy Taoyuan county commissioner on Friday last week, after prosecutors raided his office and residence earlier that day as part of an investigation into corruption allegations.The mess is far reaching...
Yeh allegedly accepted bribes from Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) in connection with a land development project in the county.
Leaders of the county government’s Urban and Rural Development Bureau, Department of Land, and Public Works Department were relieved of their positions and the director and secretary-general of the Office of Ethics were reassigned to other departments due to their dereliction of duty, he added.Taoyuan County is booming as the communities near Taipei are rapidly becoming bedroom communities for Taipei's workers, who can no longer afford to live in the capital. The Taipei metro system is being extended out to the county. Development is everywhere, and so is money. Farglory paid a bribe of over $500K US for the privilege of constructing a housing development, according to the confession of its Chairman the other day.
Yeh was formerly the head of the Construction Planning Agency (see this 2010 Taiwan Review piece), which means that dozens of land development cases involving him and Farglory will be probed. Allegations of bribery in connection to another Farglory land development case during his tenure have already been made. John Wu, meanwhile, was blindsided by the case and may take a hit in the upcoming elections, though he currently enjoys a big lead over the DPP candidate.
The shocking thing about the case is not the bribery, which appears routine, but the fact that the Chairman of Farglory was denied bail yesterday. The usual procedure is for the court to grant bail, which the accused white collar criminal with good political connections then uses to flee to abroad, usually China (see Chen Yu-hao, etc). But in this case, the court shut him down. This has led to private speculation that there's a political angle going on behind the scenes, though I know of no evidence to support that claim.
But let's not forget the human cost of all this bribery and corruption...
Amber Shyu (徐玉紅), a resident of the Linkou project site who has been resisting forced eviction for nearly a decade, said she hopes investigators will work independently to dig out unlawful conduct involved in the project, so that the people can live happily and peacefully in their homes.Hidden behind the euphemism "urban renewal" is a wasteland of corruption and destruction of ordinary people's lives and property.
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