TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je yesterday responded to allegations that one of his municipal advisors has sought bribes from construction consortium Farglory Group, saying that the individual will be punished should evidence proving his guilt come to light.
Ko made the comment before conducting his 8th weekly Taipei Mayor and Borough Chief Municipal Forum.
The rumour began to widely circulate after former New Taipei Councilman Chen Ming-yi made mention of it in a television show on March 24.
Chen claimed that one of Ko's municipal advisors had approached Farglory and promised to allegedly aid the consortium in resolving the issue surrounding the Taipei Dome for a price of NT$50 million (S$2.2 million).
However, during an interview with local press, Chen said that he had never explicitly said the individual in question is one of Ko's subordinates.
Taipei City Independent Committee Against Corruption member Hsu Chin-huang then took to his Facebook page to say that the former councilman should not make absurd claims on national television without proof.
Hsu went on to say that there have been reports from the grassroots demographic claiming the existence of an individual committing fraud in the name of Ko's administration.
However, Hsu said, Ko's Taipei City Government does not allow even the slightest flaw in incorruptibility, which means that no Taipei City staff, employed or otherwise, should undergo such scrutiny without obvious proof.
Hsu went on to say that there are currently over 700 municipal advisors, himself included, in Ko's service. Each and every one of the advisors work for free, Hsu said, and any person with ill intensions could easily frame the advisors.
DPP Taipei Councilman 'Lines' Evidence to Ko
Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilman Tung Chung-yan also said yesterday that he had used Ko's favourite smartphone communications application "Line" to message a civilian report to the mayor.
The message stated that someone has sought NT$100,000 from Farglory in the name of a municipal advisor.
Reportedly, the individual took the money and promised the consortium that the person would help the company resolve tree relocating complications.
Tung also alleged that the individual was one of Ko's election staff.
Tung also said to local media yesterday that he would personally deliver the said evidence to Ko during a lunch meet yesterday.
In response to all of the statements from different parties, Ko said that he has "neither agents, representatives nor friends," further proven by his lack of social spending.
Ko said that as such, people could obviously see that he has no friends, which enables him to conduct all matters in an official capacity, giving the right penalties to people should incriminating evidence come to light.
The mayor also responded to Kuomintang Taipei Councilman Chung Hsiao-ping's claim on Wednesday that the advisor who asked for NT$50 million is widely known to be Hung Chih-kun.
Ko said that he had never heard Chung's accusations, and that there are simply too many rumours in this country.