Wed, Dec 24, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Pan-greens on illegal assets trail

ILL-GOTTEN GAINS Lawmakers yesterday revealed yet more cases of the KMT giving party-related organizations preferential deals on government assets

By Fiona Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Representatives from a pro-Taiwan independence group yesterday protest in front of the KMT's Taipei headquarters against the party's inappropriately obtained assets, demanding that the party turn the building into a museum.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMESN

Pan-green lawmakers yesterday revealed more details of land misappropriated or illegally occupied by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

The lawmakers singled out the China Youth Corps (救國團) (CYC), founded by former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) in 1952 with a pledge to eliminate communism and recover the mainland. The KMT-related organization had occupied a large parcel of land in downtown Taipei for 50 years, they said.

"The China Youth Corps has been privileged to use the land, estimated to be worth NT$5.7 billion in current market value, for 50 years, paying about NT$10 million as annual rent," said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuo Jung-chung (郭榮宗).

The KMT-related organization did not pay for the use of land until recently, Kuo said.

"Government estimates on the rent of public land showed that the CYC should pay at least NT$220 million in rent every year. The CYC, however, only paid about NT$10 million once a year," he said.

The China Youth Corps had continued to enjoy its privileged low rent even though it had, given the obsolescence of its original purpose, transformed itself into a commercial organization involved in teaching, tourism and accommodation, Kuo said.

DPP Legislator Tang Huo-shen (湯火聖) also pointed out the anomaly of the Ministry of Education paying the youth corps to use its land.

As part of its total rent the CYC pays NT$2.68 million to the education ministry. But the ministry had to subsidize the CYC to the tune of NT$8.14 million. The result was that the ministry was paying the CYC NT$5.46 million every year to use its facilities.

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) whip Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙) called for terminating the CYC's privileges, as part of a mission to recover assets improperly obtained by the KMT.

On the other hand, DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) said that the Ministry of Transportation and Communications was correct in recovering two controversial parcels of land in Chiayi County, which have been the subject of a lawsuit between the Central Broadcasting System and the Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC).

Government budgetary papers showed that the MOTC bought the land many years ago for the BCC to broadcast political propaganda overseas, according to Tuan. BCC has claimed that it bought the land itself.

Tuan cited a book written by Wu Dao-i (吳道一), a senior member of the BCC, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the KMT-related radio station in which Wu said that the government allocated the money for the purchase of the lands by his station.

"The BCC owes the public an apology for lying that it bought the land itself and claimed title to it," Tuan said.

"The BCC needs to explain the reason for its continued occupation of the land even though its mission of broadcasting overseas ended long ago. It owes an explanation as to why it claimed ownership of the land the MOTC actually bought," he said.

While the KMT hinted that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) should shoulder responsibility for the ill-gotten wealth, TSU legislative leader Lo Chih-ming (羅志明) conveyed the former president's words that KMT Chairman Lien Chan was the one who should come clean about the property issue.

"Lee came up with the idea of institutionalizing party assets as early as 1993. The KMT therefore founded a special management committee for assets in that year," Lo told a news conference.

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