TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taipei Deputy Mayor Charles Lin yesterday release a statement aiming to refute the allegation that the deputy mayor had a close relationship with local construction consortium Farglory Group before becoming a public servant.
Local Chinese-language magazine Want Weekly yesterday reported on the topic of the widely debated Taipei Dome, stating that Lin, who serves as the convener of a Taipei City-organised dome safety inspection taskforce, has publically criticised Farglory for forsaking the safety of human lives with problematic architectural designs.
However, according to the magazine, photos taken from the Facebook page of Farglory Vice Chairman Tsai Chung-i, which show Lin attending a briefing with Farglory Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung in the United States, have been circulating on the Internet recently, suggesting that Lin was affiliated with the consortium before taking public office.
Further reports suggest that an unnamed Taipei City councilor claimed Lin as a very close friend with Chao until his incumbent position, and that the company had treated Lin to multiple trips abroad.
In response to the accusations, the deputy mayor released a statement in an attempt to clear his name.
Lin said that he has never had private dealings with Chao and that the three international trips that were mentioned in the magazine were not personal tours, but group trips made up of 10 other scholars as an academic delegation.
The trips were also billed by the consortium with other group expenses with the company, meaning that there were no personal financial dealings or alleged "treats."
The deputy mayor went on to say that the trips taken by the delegation were purely academic, and had happened because of a sponsorship relationship Faglory had with National Chiao Tung University, where Lin once served as an associate professor.
The colorful language and terminologies used in the magazine's article were used after reading too much into what was purely an opportunity for academic exchange, and also a distraction from the importance of the dome's safety flaws.
Simply because he had taken academic trips that were possible because of the consortium does not mean that he must turn his back on his conscience and professionalism in the case with the dome as the city deputy mayor, Lin said in conclusion.
Farglory Responds to Affiliation Allegations
In related news, Farglory confirmed that academic delegations were indeed invited to participate in international trips organised by the company.
However, the company also stated that it cannot understand why Lin had previously praised the construction of the dome, only to rip it apart verbally after becoming deputy mayor.