Monday, September 05, 2005

Taiwan's Public Construction in Sorry State

Taiwan News reports that a KMT legislator says much government construction behind schedule and unused (Yam's Chinese report of same story). There's always a certain irony in hearing a KMT supporter complain about inefficient government, especially in the area of public construction, but here is a topic that should make both parties hang their heads in shame: public construction:

The report indicated that there are NT$126.34 billion worth of completed but idle public construction projects, with NT$119.42 billion overseen by the central government and NT$6.92 billion under the jurisdiction of local governments. In addition, badly managed public works amounted to NT$280.26 billion, with NT$272.40 and NT$7.86 billion managed by the central and local governments respectively.

Lai presented a list of the least effective managers in the central government, with the Ministry of Interior at the top of the list with NT$33.5 billion worth of finished projects that were still idle as of July. Among these projects is a sewer system in Taipei County, which took NT$28.4 billion to construct and has been left unused since its completion in June of 1994, he added.

The predictability of the DPP's defense.....

Economic Affairs Minister Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) responded to Lai's criticism by noting that many of the projects mentioned were planned or built prior to 2000 when the Democratic Progressive Party took power. actually a misleading artifact of the news presentation, because the Taiwan News article does not make it clear that Lai's "report" is a blast aimed squarely at the DPP, thus provoking the "predictable" defense. The opening sentence of the Yam report in Chinese makes that plain:


KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao held a press conference yesterday, saying that since President Chen took office, the government just spends money on public construction, and doesn't understand how to efficiently operate or fully utilize public construction.

It would be nice if there was less grandstanding and more topic-targeted competence here. Lai apparently has no expertise in the management of large projects and probably has no idea what he is talking about. His background at Wiki
reads like a press release, and does not reveal much experience in the management or construction of large infrastructure projects. There must be plenty of people with more experience than Lai who can discuss this vitally important topic and put pressure on the government.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That’s a good quote from Lai.
“The government just spends money on public construction, and doesn't understand how to efficiently operate or fully utilize public construction.”
What the hell is that! It’s a statement so filled with nothing. I am a construction professional and I am not even sure what he means by that.
It’s so irritating to see people like Lai criticizing with non-specific accusations, and pretending to be experts in many fields. The “horse fart bridge” is just another example of pointing at a necessary piece of temporary work (or false work), and calling it as something ingratiating for the President. I feel sadly, that may lay people will buy in to pan-blue’s statement.
What I used to enjoy is that Nita Ing, chairwomen of Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp, made many low-key, but excellent rebuttals to unfounded accusations by pan-blue. She seems a bit worn out now, by pan-blue’s constant fire or maybe by THSRC’s problems.
What Taiwan needs now are more professional advices from experts and professional conducts by politician and media. But I am not holding my breath…