Thu, Aug 11, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Koo’s appointment ill-judged: KMT

"POLITICAL PURGES’:The KMT said a commission to address the party’s ill-gotten assets could become the DPP’s ‘dong chang’ — Ming Dynasty secret police run by eunuchs

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday blasted the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) decision to put Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wellington Koo (顧立雄) in charge of an Executive Yuan’s commission to handle the KMT’s ill-gotten assets as an attempt to be “both a player and a referee in the game.”

“According to Article 20 of the Act Governing the Handling of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations [政黨及其附隨組織不當取得財產處理條例], members of the ill-gotten party assets handling commission set up under the Executive Yuan must be nonpartisan. This is one of the fundamental principles,” KMT Culture and Communications Committee director Chow Chi-wai (周志偉) told reporters at the KMT’s headquarters in Taipei.

Chow said the public is concerned over whether Koo’s appointment runs counter to the article in question, given that he served as one of the representatives in the mission-based National Assembly in 2005 and is a DPP legislator-at-large.

Such an arrangement could give the impression that the DPP is “both a player and a referee in the game” and could cast a shadow over the commission, Chow said.

“It is up to the DPP to decide whether its goal for the commission is to solve problems or to launch political purges,” Chow said, urging the ruling party to make the necessary adjustments regarding the chairmanship of the commission at the earliest date.

Chow made the remarks one day after Koo confirmed that Tsai and Premier Lin Chuan (林全) had asked him to head the commission, saying “there is no room for him to say no.”

The commission, which is to consist of 11 to 13 members appointed by Lin, is tasked with investigating and perhaps confiscating and returning or restoring to rightful owners all assets improperly obtained by the KMT and is affiliated organizations since Aug. 15, 1945 — when Japan officially announced its surrender to the Allies, bringing World War II to an end.

Lawmakers are divided over Koo’s appointment, who would have to give up his legislator-at-large seat for the position.

DPP Lawmaker Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said Koo’s intensive participation in the legislative process for the act and his familiarity with the act’s content make him extremely competent to lead the commission.

“Even if the commission’s chairman is nonpartisan, they would be unworthy of the position and the effort the legislature has put into passing the act if they choose not to make an all-out effort to recover improperly obtained party assets,” Chen said.

KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said that prior to the act’s passage, there were already concerns that the commission could become the DPP’s dong chang (東廠) — a secret police run by eunuchs during China’s Ming Dynasty — or an unconstitutional organization.

“Since they have picked a DPP legislator-at-large as the chairman, the commission will undoubtedly become party-oriented and be more likely to target certain parties,” Lai said.

When reached for comment, Presidential Office Spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said the office believes that given Koo’s legal expertise and familiarity with the legislative process of the act, his appointment is an ideal arrangement.

Huang called on ruling and opposition parties to put aside their differences and join hands to better Taiwan’s democracy and address the long-term uneven playing field for political parties caused by ill-gotten assets.

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