Taiwan: Again, Not Responsible?

Since one year, the Maokong Gondola (located in Taipei – Muzha area) is suspended for security concerns linked (at least) to the Tower 16 (mudslides eroded the ground beneath a support pillar).

It was decided, designed and constructed when Ma (the actual president of Taiwan) was the mayor of Taipei.

The Control Yuan decided to investigate the case and in today news (HERE), an anonymous member (I supposed it’s because the probe isn’t finished yet) said:

…President Ma is not responsible for the problems…

What is the reason for that?

[…]

The anonymous member said that Ma did not make mistakes in his decision to build the gondola.
Before the system was suspended, the gondola brought great benefits to the Muzha area, attracting more than 5 million visitors in a year, he said.

[…]

Wait, it’s not done yet 🙂

Still according the same source:

[…]

…the anonymous official said that the Taipei City Government under Ma’s administration was found to be partly at fault for an incomplete evaluation of the geology of the tower sites, inadequate project design and insufficient testing.

[…]

I don’t get it:

  1. Of course as president, Ma has nothing to do with that
  2. But when the project was decided, designed and constructed, he was the mayor no?
  3. Why blame the staff for that?
  4. A mayor has nothing to say and do for a so big and huge project? If yes, what is the job of a mayor?
  5. Moreover, because more than 5 million visitors used it, it means that Ma is not responsible, thanks to all the money brought by the gondola?
  6. I suppose it’s better to thanks the good fortune of the users: what if a tower collapsed during working hours with a lot of people several dozens meters above the ground?

And what about the other project decided and constructed (starting to be) when Ma was mayor of Taipei? I am of course talking about the Neihu MRT line.

This MRT is working as hell and yesterday it was again interrupted, apparently because a power failure. Again.

Guess about all the money invested in the gondola, which is interrupted since one year, not mentioning about maintenance cost (if any maintenance…???) and the cost to re-start the gondola (if it re-start one day).

Guess about all the money spent for a poor designed MRT line.

Oh by the way, this MRT line will of course (more or less in a new future) be the target of an investigation.

I suppose that as for the gondola, the mayor who decided it won’t be hold responsible.

As usual, responsibility could only concern other people…

Same about the story about the funds used by the former mayor of Taipei.

Same about the last typhoon and the poor reaction from the central government…

Some people, as a wet soap, can’t never be caught, if the system is helping…

Maybe I am wrong with my analysis, so I welcome readers to open my eyes and mind.

 

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2 Responses

  1. Well for someone to be at fault you’d first have to say: using good engineering practice – would it have been possible to avoid the problem with a different design? Or using good engineering practice would analysis have shown that the project was not possible within budget constraints?

    Once we have an indication that someone was at fault – i.e. good practice hasn’t been followed – we’d have to decide whose fault it was. Did politicians override the analysis from the engineers? Did a contracting company not implement good practice?

    I think in a single case of failure (unless there was direct involvement contributing to the failure), the fault is not necessarily on the political side – it could be the construction company – in which case the city administration would be compelled to sue for compensation. However there could also be fault on the administrative side – if oversight of the contractors or vetting of the contracting company, was lacking.

    You could in this case say: ok this is the fault of the department – they didn’t oversee or vet correctly.

    However if that happens multiple times, then the fault becomes political – it’s the politicians job to identify capable staff, and replace people who are not capable, corrupt or lazy.

    So if it’s a single (avoidable) failure: the mayor is not necessarily responsible. He can not be an expert on every field of knowledge, after all. However if it’s a series of such failures, then the mayor should have better staff in place. Their failing also becomes his.

  2. @ Stephan: Your comment seems very reasonable and makes sense.
    🙂

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