BES says cousin of mayor asked it to cancel bid
By Abraham Gerber / Staff reporter
BES Engineering Corp (中華工程) ran a full-page advertisement in four of Taiwan’s major Chinese-language dailies yesterday, claiming that another bidder had been favored from the start for the Taipei Twin Towers project.
The company also alleged that Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) cousin, Tung Hai-lung (董海龍), asked BES Engineering chief executive officer to drop the company’s bid.
Last year, BES was awarded the project — which is to link the future Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport MRT line with Taipei Main Station — after Taipei Gateway International Development Co (太極雙星) withdrew due to corruption scandals.
However, negotiations with the city government broke down after new conditions for signing the contract contract were imposed last month, leading to BES Engineering officially losing the tender on Sept. 30.
“The main point of the advertisement is to emphasize that Mayor Hau has favored a particular contractor throughout the bidding process,” BES Engineering spokeswoman Tseng Chiung-ying (曾瓊瑩) said.
“When Taipei Gateway International lost its eligibility, the mayor had already decided against signing a contract with us,” Tseng said.
She said the city government had deliberately dragged out negotiations to devise signing conditions that the firm was incapable of meeting.
BES Engineering has already appealed a court ruling against its request for an injunction and would consider other means of legal recourse, she added.
The mayor denied there was any conspiracy.
“Using threats and intimidation when negotiations break down is a poor approach” Hau said. “BES Engineering had orally agreed to all of our conditions. We merely required them to put those promises into a legally binding document.”
He denied that Tung had asked BES Engineering to drop its bid and called on the firm to provide evidence for the accusation.
When questioned on whether potential legal action would delay the search for a new contractor, Hau said that everything would be done in accordance with legal procedure.