Mon, Aug 28, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take: TSU caucus defends Lee

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Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) helped the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) earn more than NT$200 billion (US$6.08 billion) while serving as chairman, the legislative caucus of the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said yesterday. Lee Hsien-jen (李先仁), the caucus' office director, said the KMT's recent report on the party's assets had unfairly stated the former chairman had presided over huge losses on the part of party-owned enterprises. The KMT report "purposely ignored" the fact that during Lee's term from 1988 to 2000, when he was also president of the country, huge sums of money had to be spent on the party's daily operations and its nominees for various elections, Lee Hsien-jen said. He estimated that during that time, more than NT$8 billion was required annually to keep the party running. Without mentioning where the funds had come from, the KMT report "intentionally failed" to mention that Lee had helped the party turn a profit of at least NT$200 billion, he added. He criticized KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) plan to use party assets -- now standing at NT$27.7 billion -- to pay for party workers' retirement pensions. "If these assets had been obtained through improper means, how can he make use of them in such a way?" Lee Hsien-jen asked. Sources for the party's finances should be limited to membership dues, government subsidies, political donations and interest, "and all of the other assets should be seen as questionable," he said.

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