Tue, Dec 16, 2014 - Page 1 News List

DPP presses Chu over KMT assets

By Su Fang-ho  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday urged New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) to declare his stance on the long-stalled draft regulations regarding the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) stolen assets, saying it is the only way he can prove that he would not follow in President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) footsteps if elected chairman.

Chu is the sole candidate for the KMT chairmanship after Ma resigned from the post earlier this month to take responsibility for the party’s losses in the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 29.

DPP spokesperson Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) made the remarks in response to Chu’s pledge on Friday last week that he would return the KMT’s improperly obtained assets to the nation if elected.

“Given that KMT lawmakers have boycotted the draft political party act [政黨法] and the statute regarding the disposition of assets improperly obtained by political parties [政黨不當取得財產處理條例] more than 200 times, Chu must make his stance on the drafts known to the public and explicitly prohibit KMT legislators from blocking such proposals in the future,” Huang said.

Huang said that such a move would be the only way Chu could show the public that he would not be “another Ma.”

“During his term as KMT deputy chairman, Chu did nothing when Ma broke his promise of ‘zero party assets.’ He made the pledge to return the party’s improperly gained assets to the nation only after announcing his bid for the KMT chairmanship,” Huang said.

“We must systematically scrutinize Chu’s promise to see whether his words are an empty slogan,” Huang added.

The spokesman said the KMT is the wealthiest political party in the world and the majority of its wealth came from public’s hard-earned money, urging Chu to compile a list of assets that the party obtained unjustly.

Citing a Supreme Court ruling in August, Huang said the verdict revoked the Broadcasting Corp of China’s (BCC) ownership of eight lots in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) — which total more than 5,000 ping (16,500m2) and are valued at NT$10 billion (US$319 million) — and declared that they should be state property.

According to the decision, the eight lots of land were subdivided from three plots of state-owned real estate that the then-KMT government took over from the Japanese colonial government following World War II.

A civil lawsuit was filed in 2004 by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications against the BCC’s claims to ownership of the land, which the ministry said was stolen from the state.

The plots were listed as national property and entrusted to the ministry and the then-KMT’s Central Committee Radio Broadcasting Station, the BCC’s predecessor.

Huang said that since Chu supports the return of the KMT’s illicit assets to the nation, the draft political party act must be passed to help the party verify which of its assets were legally obtained.

“As such verification efforts might also require the cooperation of the Ma administration, we urge the president to also declare his stance on the passage of the draft and on Chu’s party asset reform plan,” Huang said.

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