Sat, Jun 08, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Assets committee launches KMT real-estate database

By Chen Yu-fu  /  Staff reporter

The front page of the Party Real Estate Database’s Web site, established by the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee, is pictured in a screen grab on Thursday.

Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times

The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee on Thursday launched its online Party Real Estate Database, which contains more than 1,000 properties linked to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

The database, which operates under a query system, was created in compliance with a rule in 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), which says that the acquisition and transfers of properties by political parties or their offshoots must be fully disclosed, the committee said.

The database is the most comprehensive on properties held by the KMT to date, it said.

During the authoritarian era, the means by which the KMT obtained its properties were often shrouded in secrecy and data on assets declarations were either esoteric or incomplete, it said.

Using the historical data it has collated, people now have access to intelligible data on the KMT’s acquisition or transfers of properties, it said.

The Web site lists 23 “notable cases,” including the building housing the former KMT headquarters in Taipei, which the nation inherited from the Japanese colonial era’s Taiwan governor’s office.

The Da Hsiao Building on Aiguo E Road in Taipei was acquired by the KMT in an auction using a proxy and later rented out by the party for profit, the Web site says.

A property on Taipei’s Linsen S Road where the National Women’s League is headquartered was bought with tax funds, the site shows.

The party gave itself a plot of state-owned land that was expropriated during party-state rule and houses the KMT’s New Taipei City chapter, it shows.

The KMT Taitung Chapter was built on land previously owned by a farmers’ association, but the party got it for free, the Web site shows.

The KMT borrowed the building that used to house its now-defunct culture work committee from members of the public and paid rent for a brief period, before occupying it, it shows.

The database is the fruit of more than 5,000 hours of collaborative work between researchers and students of land economics, the committee said.

The committee has since 2016 been investigating and disclosing information about KMT assets and this dedicated effort made the database possible, the committee said.

Through the disclosure of information previously deemed inconvenient, it would not only guarantee people’s right to the truth, but also improve understanding of transitional justice, thereby bolstering the nation’s democracy, it said.

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