Tue, Nov 20, 2001 - Page 1 News List

KMT demands probe into stabilization fund's losses

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

In retaliation for the Executive Yuan's plan to enact a special law that would empower the government to investigate the KMT's assets, the former ruling party yesterday demanded a thorough probe into the government's role in the loss of up to NT$240 billion the National Stabilization Fund (國安基金) and four other government funds have suffered.

Leaders of the KMT legislative caucus announced that they would join lawmakers across party lines to set up an investigative committee as soon as the legislature reopens after the Dec. 1 legislative elections.

Justin Chou (周守訓), a spokesman for the KMT, dismissed the Executive Yuan's move as mere "campaign gimmick."

The KMT lawmakers, meanwhile, said they had no objection to any investigation into the KMT's assets as long as it is backed up by evidence.

"If the DPP government is to enact a special law based on solid facts, we will approve it according to the evidence presented," said Cheng Feng-chi (鄭逢時), a lawmaker and deputy executive-director of the KMT's Policy Committee. "The DPP cannot fabricate charges and spread rumors to defame the KMT. We can never accept a tactic such as this."

The party said the DPP government should be subject to investigation based on the same standard for "embezzling national assets."

James Chen (陳健治), also a deputy chief of the Policy Committee, said that the DPP government began intervening in the stock market using money from government-run funds when the TAIEX stood at 8,200 points, soon after the DPP came to power last year. The nation's main stock market index yesterday closed at 4,548 after dipping below 3,500 last month.

Losses related to the government's market interventions total about NT$240 billion, which Chen said were a result of the DPP's incompetence.

According to Chen, the losses have jeopardized the retirement benefits of veterans and government employees and are expected to increase government debt.

Chen said the government owes the people an explanation as to who was responsible for the decision to intervene and if any corrupt practices were involved.

The lawmakers suspect that the money was poured into the stock market to save firms owned by President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) national policy advisers.

People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) yesterday urged the government to handle the matter concerning the KMT's assets carefully and not to let it become an inter-party struggle.

Soong said he would support the Executive Yuan's move if any government assets were shown to be illegally obtained by the party.

DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), meanwhile, said the KMT should not be worried about the planned investigation if it was not involved in unlawful activities.

Information released by the Control Yuan shows that many of the KMT's assets were obtained illegally, according to Hsieh.

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