Thu, May 17, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Ma faces lawsuit over school land

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yu Jan-daw speaks at a press conference yesterday at which he announced a lawsuit against former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou for allegedly allowing a children's charity to use government-donated land for money-making purposes.

PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Two Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators sued former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday for allegedly allowing the private Hua Hsing Children's Home and Hua Hsing Elementary and Junior High School to use government-donated land for profit-making purposes when he was mayor.

DPP legislators Yu Jan-daw (余政道) and Kao Chien-chih (高建智) filed the lawsuit at the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office after they held a press conference in the legislature yesterday morning.

Yu and Kao said Ma had agreed to the city's Education Department 1999 project to allow the children's home to occupy its current location on Yangmingshan rent free.

But the home has rented the majority of the government-donated land to its private school, which charges about NT$80,000 per semester, Yu said.

The Hua Hsing Children's Home was founded by Soong Mayling (宋美齡), wife of the former dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), in 1955 to house orphans. The children's home later established the elementary and junior high school. Those schools were opened to the public in 2002 and began working under independent administrative systems from the children's home three years later.

Citing the Civil Code, Yu said the Taipei City Government had the right to terminate its contract with the children's home because the home did not get the city's consent before renting the land to the private school.

The city government, however, failed to do so, Yu said.

"Ma knew perfectly well that the Hua Hsing Children's Home had disguised itself as a charity facility to obtain the land on Yangmingshan, and then it rented the land to the private Huang Hsing Elementary and Junior High School for huge profits," Yu said.

"He had the clear intention to profit the children's home and the private school," Yu said.

The Central News Agency quoted Ma yesterday as saying that several Taipei mayors had been involved in the decision-making.

"If there's any legal problem, Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) should also be sued," Ma said.

Chen served as mayor of Taipei from 1994 to 1998.

Additional reporting by Loa Iok-sin

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