Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday of trying to divert the public's attention away from the issue of stolen assets by focusing on investment losses during the time he served as the party's chairman.
According to a statement issued by Lee's office, the former president said that it was extremely unfair for the KMT to only focus on the NT$42.7 billion in investment losses during the period when he concurrently served as the country's president and KMT chairman between 1988 and 2000 in its report on the party's assets and liabilities. The report is to be made public on Wednesday.
The KMT has been Taiwan's largest opposition party since the Democratic Progressive Party came to power in 2000. Lee stepped down from the presidency and from the party chairmanship that year.
The statement said that it was unfair for the KMT to fail to mention how much money Lee helped the party earn to maintain the party's operations -- some NT$8 billion per year -- during the period of his presidency.
It said that Lee's morality and behavior can be fully scrutinized by the public.
The KMT, as Taiwan's ruling party during that 12-year period, had the responsibility to assist in government-led investment projects both at home and abroad, it said.
Saying that "these kind of projects were all thoroughly screened by a set of mechanisms within the KMT," the statement claimed that "there is no way that just one or two people could make a final decision on these issues."
The KMT should not ascribe its present financial difficulties to only a part of its failed investments in the past, the statement said, adding that public now is more concerned about the party's net assets.
* Former president Lee Teng-hui, who served as KMT chairman from 1988 to 2000, is said to have been responsible for NT$42.7 billion (US$1.309 billion) in losses because of bad investments.
* The report says KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou had earned the KMT NT$10 billion via asset disposals.
* The Ministry of Finance has asked the KMT to hand over 144.51 hectares of real estate -- with a market value of NT$21.9 billion -- but the KMT has returned only 1.86 hectares.
* The KMT says its assets were obtained legally.
The KMT will give a detailed report to the people on Wednesday on how it has handled its assets.