Sun, Dec 28, 2003 - Page 3 News List

KMT denies DPP's land-grab allegations

By Melody Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) denied yesterday the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) allegation that it illegally purchased the real estate where its headquarters are located.

Launching its latest attack on the KMT's occupation of numerous state-owned properties during its half-century rule, DPP legislative caucus leader Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said the KMT had bought the land for NT$4 billion less than the original price.

The KMT headquarters, are located at No. 11 Zhong Shan S. Road, Taipei, next to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and facing the Presidential Office.

When the KMT purchased the site in 1990, each ping of the land was valued at NT$2 million. The KMT, however, bought the real estate for just NT$200,000 a ping. The party bought the land from the National Property Bureau (NPB) at a total price of NT$374 million, according to Chen.

"The KMT illegally gained nearly NT$4 billion from the land deal," Chen said. "The DPP will publish records about the deal shortly."

Countering the accusations, KMT Secretary General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) yesterday described the DPP's strategy as "humiliating and torturing."

Holding a press conference at the KMT headquarters, Lin said that each ping of land cost NT$170,000 in 1990, adding that land prices for the nearby National Taiwan University Hospital and the Presidential Office were roughly the same as those for the KMT headquarters at that time.

Noting that the KMT headquarters, hospital and the Presidential Office were all situated in an "administration zone," Lin said that the KMT bought the land from the NPB at a 20 percent mark up from the market price.

"There was nothing illegal in the purchasing process of the property," Lin said.

NPB officials had investigated the land deal and confirmed that the purchase was entirely legal, said Lin, adding: "I don't know on what basis the DPP makes its accusation."

Lin also branded the DPP's proposal to make a new law handling political parties' illegally acquired assets as anti-constitutional and intended only for political gain.

Chen, however, insisted that the KMT bought land for many of the sites of its local headquarters at ridiculously low prices.

"The KMT profited by at least NT$6.8 billion from these illegal land deals across the island," he added.

The KMT also occupied 114 properties and 19 theaters that used to belong to the Japanese colonial government, Chen said.

"Shouldn't the KMT return these assets to the people and the country?" Chen asked.

Chen added that the government needed to make a new law to tackle the KMT's illegal assets because the occupations occurred too long ago.

"But the KMT has been boycotting the law and has been reluctant to negotiate details of the regulations," Chen Chi-mai said while urging the KMT to stop lying.

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