Sat, Sep 09, 2017 - Page 3 News List

New committee head says he wants to ‘eliminate’ it

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee Chairman Lin Feng-cheng, right, yesterday in Taipei speaks at his first news conference as chairman, as committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang looks on.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee Chairman Lin Feng-cheng yesterday said during his inauguration speech that his greatest hope for the committee is to “eliminate” it.

Lin was sworn in as head of the committee, filling the post left vacant by Wellington Koo (顧立雄), who has been tapped to run the Financial Supervisory Commission.

“My greatest hope is to eliminate the committee. I hope in the future there will no longer be an assets settlement committee,” Lin said.

Asked by the media for clarification, Lin said his reasoning was simple: He hopes the commission’s work of accounting for and dealing with all ill-gotten party assets will proceed smoothly and efficiently, “so there would be no need for the committee to exist.”

“I do not want the committee to be a permanent agency. After all, it is tasked with a special mission, and I hope this mission will soon be accomplished,” he added.

Lin was later asked to clarify a remark in an earlier interview that he — quoting Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi (白居易) — would “go to the heavens and hell” (上窮碧落下黃泉) to uncover illicit party assets.

That remark has drawn protests from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), with KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) saying that Lin quoting Bai demonstrated that he would likely hunt down the KMT like a man “hunting down the murderer of his father.”

Lin should not take a biased stance as the head of a law enforcement body, Hung said.

He added that Lin’s new endeavor would involve “defaming” his father, former KMT lawmaker Lin Shih-chi (林時機), who was president of the KMT-owned China Daily News.

Lin Feng-cheng yesterday said that he meant to say he would “go to the heavens and health” to gather information on potentially ill-gotten party assets and piece the bits of information together.

The committee will not assign penalties without justification, which would be against the law, he added.

Lin Feng-cheng said he does not intend to hunt anyone down, adding that his decisions would be based on evidence and 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).

He anticipated that some would try to stir controversy by mentioning his father, Lin Feng-cheng said, adding that he and his father have always belonged to different political parties and that he would not allow his family history to interfere with investigations into potentially illicit party assets, which he called a moral issue.

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