Thu, Aug 24, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Premier Su demands more details on KMT's assets

NOT GOOD ENOUGH Both the premier and DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun said the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) report on its stolen assets was unsatisfactory

By Jimmy Chuang and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS , WITH CNA

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday asked Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to provide a detailed explanation of what the party had done with the assets it stole from the public.

"I think [Ma] owes us an explanation," Su said. "At least, he needs to tell us how much the KMT has stolen, how the money was spent and whether the KMT is willing to return it to the people. I shall ask my fellow government officials to figure out how much money was stolen by the KMT by looking through the national archives."

Su made the remarks during the Cabinet meeting yesterday morning. He said the issue was no longer the KMT's private business because it concerned the public interest.

"It is part of the history of Taiwan's democracy. The KMT is responsible to clear up any ambiguities [in connection with its assets report]," Su said.

Su said he had three requests for Ma.

Firstly, the KMT should disclose how much "financial aid" it had received from the government in the past.

Secondly, Su said, the KMT should make public how much money KMT-affiliated organizations had received from the KMT administration.

"Lastly ... how much additional money did KMT members earn from the government by combining their years of service with the the KMT and the government?" Su asked.

"This is our money and I think every one of us has the right to know where it is today," he added.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday that while the KMT's report on its party assets had detailed how the party had sold certain assets, it had omitted crucial information.

Yu noted that Ma had chosen to publish the report at a time when a campaign to depose President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was in full swing, implying that he was trying to unload the the party's political baggage at a time when the public's attention was elsewhere.

The KMT report avoided the issue of whether its assets were improperly obtained, Yu said

He demanded that Ma divulge what had been done with the funds generated from the sale of party assets, the amount by which the party's assets had decreased since Ma became party chairman and whether there had been any money laundering or conflict of interest.

Yu also asked for clarification on how many of the party's overseas assets had been included in the report and how many had been registered under private names, as is the case with some of the KMT's domestic assets.

The DPP also announced yesterday that that it has gathered 100,000 signatures calling for a national referendum to demand that the KMT return all of its stolen assets to the national coffers. A DPP proposal is expected to be sent to the Executive Yuan early next month urging it to hold a referendum on the issue.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) candidate for the Taipei mayoral election Clara Chou (周玉蔻) said yesterday that the DPP was not working hard enough to recover the KMT's stolen assets.

Chou added that the DPP had only begun its campaign to recover the KMT's stolen assets after the TSU had collected more than 30,000 signatures in support of its own campaign.

"Now the DPP wants to pick up where we left off and dictate the campaign," she said.

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