Fri, Dec 11, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Tsai accused of land speculation

RETALIATION:The DPP presidential candidate has come under KMT scrutiny for several land purchases that she made in Taipei’s Neihu District 27 years ago

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Alicia Wang, left, Alex Tsai, right, and former KMT legislator Chiu Yi yesterday accuse Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen of real-estate speculation.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday accused Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of land speculation involving several properties in Taipei, in an apparent move to retaliate against the DPP for its recent pursuit of KMT vice presidential candidate Jennifer Wang (王如玄) over her military housing dealings.

Citing land registration transcripts, former KMT legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) told a news conference at the legislature in Taipei that Tsai had purchased 15 plots of land totaling 271 ping (894.3m2) in the city’s Neihu District (內湖) on April. 15, 1988.

“The acquisition occurred when Tsai was merely 33 years old and had only served as an associate professor at National Chengchi University’s Department of Law for three years. A few months later, in August of the same year, the Taipei City Government included the land Tsai bought in a redevelopment zone and imposed a ban on construction and property sales,” Chiu said. “I must praise Tsai for her remarkable foresight as a land speculator.”

Nine years later, Tsai’s plots were sold in their entirety, Chiu said, adding that they were later combined into a single plot on which Farglory Land Development Co chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) constructed the Heidelberg Technology Center in 1999.

The former KMT lawmaker said that over the course of those nine years, the publicly announced land value increased by almost 13 times, from NT$24,000 (US$726.94) per ping in 1988 to NT$264,000 per ping in 1997.

“However, if the calculation is based on the land’s actual market value, it is estimated that Tsai reaped a profit of at least NT$180 million from the sales of the properties,” Chiu said, urging the DPP chairperson to explain to the public her exact profit from the transactions.

KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) said he has a good grasp of the real-estate market in Neihu as he has served as a public representative in that district.

“Land inside Taipei’s redevelopment zones were hot spots of speculative land transactions, especially those in Neihu. Individuals who were able to purchase or sell land in the zones were definitely not ordinary people. They were the best of the best land speculators at the time,” Alex Tsai said.

He said that he is impressed by how the DPP chairperson managed to muscle in on Neihu’s hotly contested land speculation market at such a young age and acquired information on when the ban on the sales of the land she purchased would be imposed.

“I think Tsai Ing-wen can scrap her campaign policy of building social housing units to address housing unaffordability in the nation. She can simply share her secrets of successful land speculation with young people,” he said.

KMT caucus deputy whip Alicia Wang (王育敏) said the the KMT is simply subjecting Tsai Ing-wen to the same scope of public scrutiny as the one Jennifer Wang has undergone due to her controversial sales of several government-subsidized military dependents’ apartments.

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