Archive for the ‘Taipei City’ Category

Keep It Simple, Stupid

This is what happens when you have a government that is incompetent and likes to show off.

Funny how KMT accused Kaohsiung mayor Chen Chu of DPP that the only she is capable of is doing fireworks, because KMT is not even able to get fireworks right.  I have a tip for KMT and Taipei 101 in terms of fireworks: don’t try to make it too complicated, because you will waste huge amount of money and  trip yourself.

Back To The Fundamentals

The recent ridiculous acts of the Taipei City government really got me thinking…just what is the cause that make  to the whole organization falling apart.  Supposedly the government has all the financial and human resource support, so how did they become like this…an organization without common sense and judging by the evidences, arrogant and rotten to the core? 

Sure, Taipei City used to and still have a lot of problems, from traffic jam problems, air pollution problems to major construction problems…etc.  However, the city, despite its many problems, also improve somewhat overtime.  This could be contributed by because the city is really rich, even if 50% of money goes to waste, slow progress has also been made.  Plus, during ex-President Chen’s time as mayor, major improvements has been made.  Although, one really has to wonder, if Taipei City government can tighten its waste, and maybe just waste …say 10% instead of 50%, the whole Taiwan could benefit greatly…seriously.  A lot of local government has really limited budget, and improvement is moving in senile pace.  If you go around Taiwan for a bit, you will see stuffs that is done (whether well done or poorly done), but could have been done a lot better if they just have a little bit more money and resources.  That is why I tend to like the idea of dividing Taiwan into six or seven major pieces with each piece receiving budgets that make more sense.  Each area can then develop depending on their unique characteristics.  That is also why I like ex-Presidential candidate Hsie’s Six Star Plan.  Although I don’t know the details and how to divide the area and how to overcome some of the potential problems it could encounter, I think that is a step in the right direction.  Instead of wasting and dumping most of the resources into one small area in Taipei City, put the resources in places where they are really needed. 

However, that is really off topic a bit.  Right now, the problem is not just about Taipei City wasting money…it’s about Taipei City wasting huge amount of money on simple and useless things.  For example, Maokong…is that thing really necessary?  What’s the benefit?  Repeating paving the same road over and over again to make it flat, while leaving other roads extremely uneven…is that necessary?  Spending major money to build a swimming pool (6 tracks) for Deafolympics that does not fit with international swimming competition standard (8 tracks).  Is that necessary?  Build a glasses cylinder in place of a traditional night market that eventually drove all the stores away.  Is that necessary?  And finally, spending MILLIONS on a simple FLOWER EXIBITION (and with major budget put into advertisement and commercial)…is that necessary…or just plain STUPID? 

Many who lived outside Taipei City already point out the more evident problem of Taipei City: the way their citizens choose their mayor for the past decades.  I don’t want to go into great detail into this, because most people know it already.  Let’s just say they did not pick carefully.

However, other than that, what is causing city officials to become so incompetent, even after people point out again and again the mistakes they have made…and in my mind, they are actually getting worse and worse?  I think one of the problem is actually that the whole strategic direction is WRONG ever since Ma took over.  During Ma’s time, the city government seems to fixade on two things: Ma’s image making and short-term constructions.  After Ma’s 8 years, KMT’s Hao took over and continue this trend.  These fixation…IMO, are there for election purpose.  Politicians, ideally, would like to contribute in ways so they could be remembered well at least by some.  Ma, however, seems to fixate on winning 2008 presidential election after the 8 years as Taipei City Mayor.  Therefore, his team rushes on planning short-term projects and PR that could give Ma a short-term image boost and shade the image that “Ma is incompetent.”  They seem to forget that competency does not mean completing lots of projects, but careful planning with good foresight and budgeting that could really elevate citizens’ lives with efficiency.

This change in direction seems to become a major flaw and creates countless problems after 8 years.  Major waste of resources on illed planned projects are everywhere in Taipei City.  Sure, the city itself is still vibrant, but many problems are sufacing…some problems even created by Ma and Hao themselves.

So what’s the cure?  I think it’s “returning to the fundamentals.”  What are the fundamentals?  I don’t know, probably initiating projects based on a well thought out overall 10 years city plan and strategy, not just short-term random projects.  Focusing on providing its citizens more convenience in housing and traffic.  Focusing on the image of the city instead of image of the mayor.  Focusing on using the budget efficiently instead of going into major deficit.  I am no experts, but I think KMT’s Taipei City has forgotten the fundamentals of city governing that is why they do things that defy all common senses.  (Taichung City is not far behind, but other than crimes,  not a lot of media coverage).

Taipei City Has Became a Black Hole in Budget

Although I know for a long time that Taipei City are wasting quite a lot of money, I was still very shocked to find out the over budgeting problem of the Flower Exhibition in Taipei.  I did not realize the waste of money could be so huge.

大話新聞 has been talking about this for several days now, and the more they discuss the more problematic things look.  One thing that really shocked me is the call-in yesterday, in which two Taipei City official called in to express their opinion.  The ignorance and arrogance they displayed is beyond my comprehension.  Sure, I make mistakes too…but these guys made a huge mistake but still act as if they are the men….it’s really ridiculous.  One guy (Yang) mention he had such and such long professional experience and accuse the show for being unprofessional, but he himself made a huge mistakes in city government procurement procedures.  Of course, with price difference so huge, it might not be just single incidental mistake, but a systematic problems and possibly systematic corruptions.

Right now the problem is not only why Taipei City got so much share of budget with such small area.  (of course, Taipei City got a lot of tax, but that is partially because a lot of companies have headquarters in Taipei City.  Those companies also have offices and factories else where perhaps but tax is only collected in Taipei City.  Therefore it still does not really make sense)…But also, that it is WASTING a huge amount of money.  Taipei City is not really improving, and other local government has no budget.  Just imagine what we can do with the wasted budget of Taipei City!!!!!

無殼蝸牛…Now I Haven’t Heard that Name in Ages

http://www.hi-on.org.tw/bulletins.jsp?b_ID=98877

I remember only vaguely about 無殼蝸牛 on TV news when I was a kid.  Amazingly, they appear once again after…20 years?!?  Back then, there was an actual real estate bubble.  I wonder what will happen this time.

Quite interestingly though I remember back during the 2008 election, wasn’t higher real estate prices  part of Ma’s and Hu’s election policy?  Well, they got that done well enough…maybe too well.  I wonder now though who is actually jacking up the prices, or is it just natural result of government policies.

I also remember Hsieh had some policy specifically targeted at housing for young people, including young couples.  All these low birth rate, high rent and cannot find apartment etc could all be one of the same issue.  I have to say Hsieh really has some foresight.  Or maybe he just sees the obviuos, while others people’s eyes are covered by golden shits from China.

Taipei City Requires Better Marketing

I just remember a few things from the past few weeks.

I was there watching the new year fireworks of Taipei City, and this year’s firework, to be honest, is really bad.  This is my honest opinion.  I am not trying to bash KMT or pissed off Taipei citizens etc.  I am sure a lot of people in Taipei city realize that  a lot of things should be better.

The worst is the “Taiwan Up” slogan.  That is one of the worst slogan I have ever seen.  During the 90s, Japanese video games often have this problems when they translate Japanese to English for the North American market.  Now people just look at those and laugh, some even make special video to joke about it.  However, during that time, I can just imagine how embarrassing it is to the game companies, and how it could ruin their reputation.  And the short slogan required is nothing compared to the longer  story and conversations in games.  How they could mess this up is beyond me.  KMT often says they have better people with “international” view.  BS.  If they can mess up the fire works slogan in the biggest city in Taiwan…how international could they be?  I think those KMT are more Chinational, not more international.

Of course, if the video game itself is very good, stupid mistakes is not going to hurt that much.  The thing is, the firework itself is not that good neither.  It stalled for 30 or some seconds twice.  It makes the firework feel disconnected….just really bad.  Firework, I think, should be bang, bang, bang…but this time, it stops, twice, and for too long.  They explained that they did it on purpose because they want to wait for smoke to clear…but I think that is not really good reasons.  I feel that they should just do it continuously.  Stopping it in the middle is worse than being blocked a little by some smoke.  Plus…I don’t know, I just don’t see much smoke at all.  Another thing is the firework really seems to lack any variety in sequencing etc…Of course, this is more subjective observation, but I am sure a lot of people find that it seems the they just shoot out the firework without any neat sequencing effect.  Especially comparing to the fireworks in some other parts in Taiwan, the Taipei City firework really seem a bit underwhelming…

Well, hope next year they can improve it, but I really doubt it.  KMT is just too arrogant to realize how to improve.  The problem is not how much money you spend etc.  Creativity is important, and the devil is in the detail, but KMT’s Taipei City government will never realize it.

Already Lost Track of How Many Times…

Holy smoke…it happens again.  Taipei’s MRT Naihu line is out of service once again.  This time for 2 hours….

It happens so many times I already lost track of how many times it had happened.  It is a total joke…I don’t know how they are going to solve this.

Update (more thought on this):

I guess this type of thing just keeps reinforcing Ma’s image as the sh*t finger in my mind.

A lot of people living outside of Taipei might say “this is none of our business, it is Taipei City’s problem.”  But that cannot be further from the truth.  The fact is, it is everyone’s problem.  Why?  Because why can’t Taipei City pay back its health care debt?  Where is the money of the construction come from?  Now they want to spend more money to fix it up, where would that money come from?  Think about that! 

Those money come from tax payers’ pocket, not just Taipei City’s tax payers, but tax payers in the whole Taiwan.  Furthermore, because Taipei City refuses to pay the health care money, all Taiwanese are forced to cover it.  They already raise the health care payment on small business owner, and actually backtrack 2 years.  That is ridiculous.  Why do they need that much money and where does the money go?  Wasted on the sh*t Ma created (Health Care debt, Nainhu Line, Maokong) of course.

UPDATE: Taipei Times has a comprehensive report on this.

A Long Time Ago…

Because of the recent Marokat disaster and the initiation of reconstruction plan, some return their attention to another incomprehensible action of Ma…that lasted 10 years.

Probably not enough of people paid enough attention to the 東星大樓 victims’ situation, otherwise Ma would never been elected as president (or he would have gotten much less votes).  The worst and weirdest thing Ma and his city government did is going to the court with those victims…and actually going all the way up (the victims won many cases in the court, but the City government appeals to the higher courts).  Eventually the victims settled with the government, but as stated by Ms. 簡余晏 in the article, it is mostly just because many victims are tired of it and cannot go on fighting with the government in the court.

It is worth noting that in all the reconstructions for 921 Earth Quakes, this building is the last to be finished.

An interesting comparison can also be found here.  During 921 Earth Quakes, in greater Taipei area, 3 condo got destroyed: 東星, 龍閣 and 博士的家. 東星 is in Taipei City, under KMT Ma, while 龍閣 and 博士的家 is in Taipei County, under DPP Hsu(蘇貞昌). 龍閣 took 3 years. 博士的家 took 5 years due to its larger construct, but 東星 took 10 years, even though comparatively it is smaller.

Granted, there are a lot of issues contributing to 東星’s slow reconstruction, but a lot of them come from Taipei City’s lack of initiative to help in the first place.  Moreoever, Taipei City actually adds and creates more trouble for the victims…Hmm…and that mayor of Taipei City is now the president…WOW.

HOLY MOLY…ANOTHER ONE?!?!

http://www.shadowgov.tw/24951_0_is.htm

Unbelievable…this time it is 北纜.  The construction has been suspended because of the the foundation rock formation is not even suitable for construction…It is also suspected that Taipei City government, under Ma, has ignore the environment assessment and initiated the construction illegally…Will keep track of further development.  (Man…just exactly how many things did Ma mess up?  That is a lot of tax payers’ money wasted…)

Abstract depiction of how Taipei citizens could be feeling now

Abstract depiction of my reaction.

This Is Endless…

An Abstract depiction of how Taipei citizens could be feeling now.

An abstract depiction of how Taipei citizens could be feeling right now.

How more ridiculous can this get?

And listened to what Taipei City Secretariat Deputy Director Tan Gwo-guang (譚國光) said:

Convenience for the passengers is the priority when weighing the options.

Hmm…shouldn’t you say “SAFETY for the passengers is the priority when weighing the options” instead?