KMT’s assets are legal?
I couldn’t stop laughing when I read Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) said: “All KMT assets had been acquired legally ... but the party must divest itself ... within a short period of time” (“KMT’s assets are legal, but should be dumped,” Dec. 1, page 3). I wonder who is Wu trying to fool, the public or the KMT members who are mentally challenged.
When the KMT released a report on its assets on Aug. 23, 2006, then KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) acknowledged that the procedure of acquiring assets lacked legitimacy, but he declined to offer an apology and simply said: “It happened during a special period, so there is no point in being too critical about it” (“KMT unveils particulars of party assets,” Aug. 24, 2004, page 1).
Evidently Ma and his followers did not want to know the truth, which is too painful to accept.
Although the Democratic Progressive Party had specified the location of KMT properties to force the party to return these assets, the KMT refused. Ma, as chairman, sold off the party’s real estate holdings, thinking “out of sight, out of mind” (“Accounts reveal scale of KMT’s asset theft,” Oct. 27, 2006, page 8).
The proceeds of the sales of ill-gotten assets was never returned to the national treasury, but recycled back to KMT coffers, which was then reinvested overseas, such as the Taiwan Trade Development Building in Tokyo or a trust fund managed by a Swiss bank.
I hope Wu knows that whether you divest the assets in Taiwan or elsewhere around the world, they still belong to the public if they had been looted.
The only way to verify its assets’ legitimacy is to open its book to an independent commission to investigate and trace the origin of all of its assets — when and how they were acquired — dating back to the time of dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國). Only then can the KMT rebuild itself as a clean party that the public can trust.
Better still, Wu might heed the advice of members, such as Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) and Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), who suggested that party should not maintain any assets (“Assets, party relations dog Ma in first year as chair,” Aug. 28, 2006, page 3).
Perhaps Wu should be bold enough to return the assets to the public if they are acquired illegally. As Taiwan’s economy continues to be sluggish, the public would welcome Wu’s gesture. The government can then use the funds to create thousands of jobs that will speed up the economic recovery. This will be a win, win situation for the Ma adminsitration and the KMT.
San Francisco, California
Cleaning up Tamsui
The Tamsui River will be cleaner when the waste alongside the right bank between Guandu and Zhuwei is removed (“Tamsui River is cleaner than a decade ago: EPA,” Dec. 3, page 4).
These mangroves now seem to “serve” as a waste dump. The same can be said of the many roads in and around Tamshui.
Taiwan is really touching my heart, but not always in the same way as the slogan implies.