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Fri, Aug 18, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Lawmakers query KMT over assets

BLACK GOLD Just how the former ruling party amassed so much wealth while in office has been the subject of an investigation by the Control Yuan for the past six months

By Irene Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

An investigation by the Control Yuan has questioned the way the KMT -- often dubbed the richest political party in the world -- has acquired its assets, said to be worth billions of dollars, a Control Yuan member said yesterday.

With the investigation having gone on for more than six months, the Control Yuan yesterday requested Secretary-General of the Executive Yuan Wei Chi-lin (魏啟林), Minister of the Interior Chang Po-ya (張博雅), Minister of Finance Shea Jia-dong (許嘉棟) and other officials to assist in the ongoing probe.

Control Yuan member Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄) said following a meeting with the ministers that their initial investigation has shown that the KMT used dubious means to acquire its assets, such as illegally occupying state-owned land and premises.

"We found evidence that points to the party's illegal occupation [of land], not just in a few selected locations but all around the country," Huang said.

A former lawmaker, Huang during his legislative career pushed for legislation regulating the assets of political parties. More than six months ago, Huang and two other Control Yuan members initiated the investigation into the KMT's assets and have so far found a number of suspicious cases.

"We've found that a lot of the party's properties were given as gifts, but what we feel is suspicious is that all the political donations went to the KMT alone. Why were the DPP and other parties overlooked?" Huang asked.

Control Yuan members have collected the papers and documents they need from district offices at locations around the country; the documents describe the KMT's land holdings and other assets.

An official of the National Property Bureau noted at the meeting yesterday that the KMT's assets were, in general, acquired "legally;" the process through which the party obtained the assets was in accordance with the law.

But Huang believes it is debatable whether the assets were obtained "legally" now that Taiwan is a democracy.

Huang said during the process of reunification, Germany also faced the problem of what was legally obtained property and what was not.

"That's probably something Taiwan shall have to deal with in the long run too," Huang said.

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