Mon, Jun 07, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Financial dispute dogs Lien Hui-hsin

FAMILY BUSINESS The ability of Lien Chan's daughter to manage money has been questioned after she revealed a financial dispute with her longtime business partner

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lien Hui-hsin, daughter of Chinese Nationalist Party Chairman Lien Chan, displays a sample of her handwriting as she disputes a story in Next magazine that claimed she wrote about her father's spousal abuse.

TAIPEI TIMES FILE PHOTO

Lien Hui-hsin (連惠心), daughter of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰), last week found herself in the media spotlight. The attention was not due her status as Lien Chan's daughter, but due to a financial dispute with her longtime business partner.

Last Thursday, Lien Hui-hsin, in her capacity as founder of Hua Yang Broadcasting, bought ads in local Chinese-language newspapers accusing Lee Chun-jung (李淳蓉), president of the company and a veteran TV producer, of forging company seals to secure loans amounting to approximately NT$240 million.

Creditors have now resorted to legal action to pursue the case.

While Lien Hui-hsin used a lawyer to speak on her behalf about the scandal, her brother, Lien Sheng-wen (連勝文), came out to defend his older sister amid doubts about Lien Hui-hsin's ability to manage finances.

Lien Sheng-wen said, "It is an insult if outsiders use the event to say that Lien Hui-hsin is fussy when it comes to managing finances."

Even the brightest financial manager can be deceived, he said.

Among Lien Chan's four children, Lien Hui-hsin has received the most media exposure, given that she is the first-born and was the most active in her father's lost bids for the presidency in 2000 and this year.

Known as Arlene to her English-speaking friends, Lien Hui-hsin received her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College in 1989. She received a master's degree in education from Harvard University in 1991 and a doctorate in education from Columbia University in 1996.

When she returned to Taiwan in 1996, she taught part-time as an assistant professor at National Taiwan Normal University's Department of Graphic Arts Communication.

Lien Hui-hsin, 37, is president of the Chung-ker Management Consultant Corp (中科管理顧問公司), a venture capital firm, and the executive of the Lien Chentung Foundation (連震東先生文教基金會), an organization named after her grandfather.

She spent about two years as a part-time consultant for the China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控).

According to a former high-ranking official who had worked with her at the China Development Financial Holding, Lien Hui-hsin was "an innocent-minded person."

"She was hardworking and dedicated to what she was doing ... she is not full of crafty schemes," said the former colleague who wished to remain anonymous.

In January, however, Next magazine accused Lien Hui-hsin of involvement in a scheme by the Lien family to cheat on taxes.

The report said that Lien Chan bought a number of properties in the US, which he failed to report to the government as required by the Law of Asset Disclosure by Public Functionaries (公職人員財產申報法).

The properties were registered in the names of Lien Chan's wife, Lien Fang Yu (連方瑀), Lien Sheng-wen and Lien Hui-hsin.

Lien Hui-hsin dismissed the magazine's claims and the Democratic Progressive Party's criticism of the Lien family over the scandal as "finger-pointing and negative campaign tactics."

Some have used Lien Hui-hsin's financial dispute with Lee to suggest that Lien Hui-hsin puts trust in the wrong people and compared the incident to one involving Gloria Chu (朱婉清), a former chairwoman of the Central Broadcasting System.

Chu, a long-time aide to Lien Chan and a close friend of Lien Fang Yu, in October 2000 jumped bail and fled to the US after she was charged with embezzling NT$16 million from the state-run radio station.

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