Sun, Dec 21, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Lien promises to publicize KMT assets in day's time

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

In response to a barrage of allegations made by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) over the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) assets, KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) yesterday said he will tomorrow make public a list of the party's assets.

"Starting next Monday, the KMT will promulgate all its party assets' documents and information for public commentary," Lien said at a campaign rally held last night in Taipei's Hsinyi district.

"I will, however, continue to outline my proposals to govern the country and not indulge my campaign in the battle over liquidating [KMT assets] as Chen Shui-bian had hoped would happen," Lien said.

He was representing the pan-blue KMT-People First Party (PFP) alliance challenging Chen's reelection bid.

Claiming that the party had already had its assets stolen when he first assumed the chairmanship four years ago, Lien said the first thing he did as party chairman was order his subordinates to make an inventory of the party's assets.

Lien said that his party already had all relevant documents concerning its assets prepared and ready for promulgation, because he suspected long ago that Chen would one day go in hot pursuit of the KMT's assets.

Lien said the most controversial of all the assets was a piece of land located on Jenai Road in Taipei, which was formerly occupied by the KMT-owned Broadcasting Corp of China (BCC). The land was sold when former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) was party chairman.

Stating that some commission was pocketed during the real-estate deal, Lien insinuated that Lee had been involved in an improper land deal.

"The reason the KMT did not take the initiative to publicize this information [on its party assets] sooner, is because it is my concern that, once these documents are made public, the focus would shift to the entanglement between the party and its former chairman and this would become a new issue in the political arena," Lien said.

The KMT on Friday renounced ownership of two major buildings and seven movie theaters.

The seven theaters were among 19 cinemas which the Japanese colonial government had transferred to the KMT-related Central Motion Picture Corp after World War II. The others theaters had already been sold or disposed of by the party in the past few years.

Lien said the DPP's dogging it over these theaters "is actually a burden-reliever to the KMT."

"The Central Motion Picture Corp is a loss-making company that every year runs a deficit of approximately NT$150 million to NT$200 million," Lien said. "While the KMT can relinquish ownership of the theaters to the government, [we] demand the government be held responsible for protecting the rights of the corporation's staff members and shareholders."

Lien, in a bid to garner the support of young adults, promised that, once elected, he would raise the government's budget appropriation for education from 4.39 percent of the GNP to 5 percent in the first year, and to 6 percent in subsequent years. This would allow higher and advanced education for talented young people.

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