Wed, Jul 27, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Ill-gotten Assets Act: Executive Yuan must assert its authority: watchdog

By Hsiao Ting-fang and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The executive branch must fully exert its authority when implementing legislation governing ill-gotten political party assets, which passed the legislature on Monday, or else action tackling the matter might turn out to be “a lot of thunder with little rainfall,” Zero Party Asset Alliance director Lo Cheng-chung (羅承宗) said.

“Although there is a foundation in place for dealing with ill-gotten assets, the administrative body needs to have ample authority to execute the law,” Lo said. “It needs to be allocated sufficient funds to carry out its role.”

“The committee executing the bill needs to be staffed with competent professionals, otherwise the results will be all talk and no action,” he said.

Lo said that the enormity of the funds that the committee would be dealing with requires professional experience, something he said is lacking from training of government officials.

“I’m afraid the older generation are the product of KMT-era politics, while the newer generation is yet to become aware of the importance of transitional justice,” he said.

Forming a committee of solid members alone is going to be tough to do, he said, adding that the massive scale of accounting, hiring talented lawyers to deal with legal issues and working with international finance specialists to deal with the KMT’s overseas investments add up to a challenge of colossal proportions.

“The proper funding of this endeavor will be incredibly important,” he added.

Lo said that during the administration of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), then-premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) gave full authority to a previous party assets committee, allowing it full access to documents so that no administrative department could shirk responsibility.

Academia Sinica assistant research professor Su Yen-tu (蘇彥圖) said the assets issue involves transitional justice, as funds obtained illegally by the authoritarian regime of past need to be investigated.

Su said he hopes that a draft bill on transitional justice would pass soon, because during the then-authoritarian KMT rule, there were many breaches of human rights, including forced confessions under torture during the White Terror era.

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