Thu, Nov 14, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Han properties at odds with image: lawmaker

By Chen Wen-chuan and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Liu Shyh-Fang, third left, speaks at a news conference at the DPP’s Kaohsiung City Council caucus office yesterday.

Photo: Chen Wen-chan, Taipei Times

Two more properties reportedly owned by Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and his wife, Lee Chia-fen (李佳芬), have been discovered, further contradicting Han’s self-projected image as an “everyman,” a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker said yesterday.

Chinese-language Next Magazine yesterday reported that the couple own properties in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖) and New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋), saying that Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau Secretary-General Kao Mei-lan (高美蘭) was allegedly involved in their acquisition.

Kao, who on Monday left the nation on vacation, should “not escape responsibility,” DPP Kaohsiung City Councilor Kang Yu-cheng (康裕成) said.

As Kao left on the day of a scheduled question-and-answer session at the Kaohsiung City Council, her departure was “very obviously her way of skirting responsibility,” Kang added.

DPP Legislator Liu Shyh-Fang (劉世芳) said that Han, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, has been “flipping properties while pretending to be an ‘everyday person’ to win votes.”

Liu called for an investigation into the legality of Han’s property transactions.

Han’s purchases of the properties in Neihu and Banciao, as well as one in Taipei’s Nangang District (南港) reported by local media on Wednesday last week, were all “connected to Kao,” Next Magazine said.

Liu said that Han’s attempts to turn the Jan. 11 presidential election into a personality contest have made the public uncomfortable and he should explain his campaign tactics, as well as the property deals, or face public scrutiny.

Han’s attempts to portray himself as an “everyman” and the property deals began before he ran for mayor last year, she said.

Kao should immediately face questioning on her involvement in the purchase of the properties, as prosecutors would investigate the issue anyway, Liu said.

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office has already launched an investigation into the possibility that Han used his political connections to demand a NT$14 million (US$458,971 at the current exchange rate) loan from partially state-owned Taiwan Fertilizer Co to purchase the Nangang property in 2011, she said.

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