New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) yesterday accused Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) father-in-law’s family of occupying more than 1 hectare of public land in Yunlin County for 19 years.
During an interpellation session at the Legislative Yuan’s Finance Committee, Huang said that the family of former Yunlin County councilor Lee Jih-kuei (李日貴), Han’s father-in-law, had allegedly occupied the land since 2000 and did not return it to the government until August this year.
Between 2002 and 2008, the family twice offered to buy the land from the government, but without success, he said, following up allegations he made on Friday that Han, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, and his wife, Lee Chia-fen (李佳芬), were involved in illegal gravel excavation along a bank of the Jhuoshui River (濁水溪) in Yunlin County.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Between 1998 and 2005, Da-tong Gravel Co (大通砂石行), owned by Lee Jih-kuei, was fined multiple times for illegally occupying public land and storing gravel in the area, Huang said on Friday.
National Property Administration (NPA) Director-General Tseng Kuo-chi (曾國基) told the Finance Committee that the central government had not leased the land to the Lee family between 2000 and 2005, but in 2006, the Yunlin County Government agreed to the family’s 10-year plan to develop the area into a recreational farm.
However, in June, just three months before the contract was due to expire, the NPA discovered that the project had not been carried out, which is why the land was returned in August, he said.
To determine if the family had illegally excavated gravel, the NPA has applied for aerial shots of the area, he said, adding that an investigation would take two weeks.
Describing the Lee family’s use of the land as “privileged people stealing national resources,” Huang yesterday asked why authorities had not asked them to return the land until this year.
“I demand that the Ministry of Finance thoroughly investigate the matter to find out if there has been any abuse of power or other illicit behavior,” the lawmaker posted on Facebook later in the day. “We cannot tolerate local political factions that abuse national resources to promote their own interests in such a blatant way.”
In related news, Han spokesman Ye Yuan-zhi (葉元之) yesterday filed charges against Huang at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for trying to influence the presidential election by spreading false information about Han, while in an interview with TVBS, the mayor urged Huang to talk with prosecutors if he had any evidence of wrongdoing.
“In the past couple of days he did not take any legal action, so today we are suing him, because we have done nothing wrong,” Han said.
Asked about reports that Yunlin County Council’s 1992 meeting minutes showed Lee Jih-kuei had said that “my Mainlander son-in-law [Han] decided to run for legislator after seeing the way I am making money for two months,” Han said the remarks were unrelated to Lee’s gravel business.
“What have the meeting minutes got to do with illegal gravel excavation?” he said, adding that certain media outlets are “committing murder with headlines.”
‘FREEDOM WINE’: Taiwanese are empathetic of Australians, the president said, while lawmakers called on their constituents to drink Australian wine to show their support Taiwan would take action to back Australians at a time when they are “under tremendous pressure,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, as tensions between Australia and China heated up. Taipei and Canberra have been mutually supportive in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in exchanging critical medical materials in the early stages, Tsai said, before chairing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Central Standing Committee meeting in Taipei. Taiwan and Australia are like-minded nations, sharing the common values of democracy, freedom and human rights, while their economic and trade relations have also become close, she said. Canberra has been voicing support for Taiwan’s international
VIGILANCE: From tomorrow all arrivals must provide the result of a PCR test issued within three days of boarding, and the CECC asked people to report anyone who has faked their result The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) expects an increase in the number of returning travelers in the coming days, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, adding that the varying qualities of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports from other countries is a big concern. Chen, who heads the center, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders scholarship award ceremony in Taipei. “As the global COVID-19 situation is worsening, and with some holidays coming up, there might be an increase in the number of overseas Taiwanese returning to Taiwan,” he
CECC RULES: The autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program, including mandatory mask wearing in eight types of public venues and indoor facilities, begins today A temporary, two-week ban on Indonesian migrant workers entering the nation is to begin on Friday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday as it reported 24 new imported cases of COVID-19. Twenty of the new cases are Indonesian migrant workers who arrived between Nov. 11 and Friday last week, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The cases were discovered during a special project on Friday to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on all 939 recently arrived Indonesian migrant workers in centralized quarantine facilities, as the majority of imported cases in the past
Passports with a redesigned cover highlighting Taiwan would be issued starting on Jan. 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The new cover design, which was announced on Sept. 2, highlights Taiwan by printing the word in a larger font. While the new passport cover retains “the Republic of China” in Chinese, the English name is printed along the outer circle of the national emblem, which would enable other nations to clearly identify that it is a Taiwanese passport, not a Chinese passport, the ministry said. The costs and application procedures for the new version are the same as