Wed, Jan 03, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Committee sets sights on association

‘UNDERCOVER’:The KMT used the Republic of China Public Service Association to infiltrate local communities and garner support for the party, the committee said

By Chen Yu-fu  /  Staff reporter

The entrance to the Gukeng Township Public Service Association in Yunlin County is pictured on Oct. 11 last year.

Photo: Huang Shu-li, Taipei Times

The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee is to investigate alleged links between the Republic of China Public Service Association and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) next month to determine if the association was a KMT affiliate helping the party consolidate its rule during the authoritarian era.

Association members were allowed to combine their years working at the association with the time they spent in the government jobs to qualify for pensions, a privilege granted to members of the KMT and civil-service organizations believed to be affiliated with the party, the committee said.

It has identified the association as the primary target of its investigations this year and is to convene a hearing early next month.

Founded in 1952, the association established more than 300 branches in cities and counties across the nation, and most branches shared offices with local KMT chapters and China Youth Corps chapters, the committee said.

The association opened some branch offices in government buildings, such as township offices, by drawing on its connection with the KMT, the committee added.

“The association is an undercover [KMT] chapter used by the party to control and assimilate ordinary Taiwanese,” the committee said.

Former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), while chairing a KMT Central Standing Committee meeting in November 1954, ordered improvements to be made to association workshops, the committee said.

“Most of the comrades working in association workshops are idly standing by instead of acting proactively to offer services to the public. Young, passionate comrades fluent in Hoklo [also known as Taiwanese] should be appointed to work in the workshops,” Chiang instructed at the time, it said.

During the authoritarian era, the lines between the state and party were blurred, and KMT employees posted to the association were transferred to local government positions, while township office employees were appointed to the association, resulting in abuses of the pension privilege, an unnamed member of the asset committee said.

According to the KMT’s organizational structure, the association’s structure was stratified, with its headquarters established under the KMT and branches of different levels established in accordance with provincial and local governments, it said.

Branches at the township level were also founded to infiltrate communities to organize KMT operations, the committee member said.

Following the military crackdown on Taiwanese during the 228 Incident, society became polarized, and the association was founded as a non-political civil service organization to assimilate Taiwanese and guarantee their support for the KMT in local elections, the committee member said.

Eleven plots of land and 11 buildings are registered under the association, and while some land has been purchased from private individuals, half of the association’s land was illegally acquired from the government, the committee said.

The ownership of most association buildings belongs to KMT-run companies, including Central Investment Co, Guanghua Investment Co, Yuhua Co and Yutai Development Co, the committee said.

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