KMT assets issue not over
There have been reports that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Culture and Communications Committee director-general Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) on Friday said that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had investigated, registered and controlled all controversial party assets issue during its first two terms in government, and that handling of such assets had been completed.
She also reportedly said that all KMT assets are legal assets and that they have all been put in a trust. This statement adheres to the party’s official standpoint that it announced prior to last month’s elections that every controversial asset had been returned in accordance with Control Yuan and Cabinet investigations, and it is just as flawed and unrealistic.
We contest this view and want to correct the public’s understanding of the issue.
With respect to the Control Yuan’s investigation, a report published in April, 2001 is restricted to dealing with national assets that were “transferred to” the KMT “without compensation.”
A more complete outline is provided by data and statistics unearthed between 2004 and 2008 by a task force for handling party asset issues that was established in January 2004. The data in a report submitted by the Ministry of Finance to the Cabinet on May 7, 2008, includes concrete figures listing party assets with a total value of more than NT$51.95 billion (US$1.55 billion at current exchange rates) divided into four categories: land — not including 152 buildings — awards and grants, tax exemptions, and retirement funds for party officials and civil servants.
The same report also states that there are “profits from party operated, specially licensed businesses” and “preferential interest rates on loans from publicly owned banks,” the value of which is difficult to verify and quantify.
It is especially difficult to concretely measure and quantify “profits from party operated, specially licensed businesses” due to its excessive scope and the extended period during which it occurred, but according to the ministry’s estimate at the time, this might amount to an even greater sum than the more than NT$50 billion already mentioned.
It should also not be forgotten that the China Youth Corps, the National Women’s League of the Republic of China and other KMT-linked organizations still have not been properly investigated.
The clearest evidence that the KMT’s official stance on the party assets issue is flawed is that the party is misleading the public using old and incomplete reports from the Control Yuan and the Cabinet, while deliberately ignoring later and more complete data from the ministry.
A vast number of documents on the KMT’s ill-gotten party assets have been accumulated, which has been presented in detail in the books Deconstructing Party-state Capitalism (解構黨國資本主義), published in 1997, Selling Off the KMT — the Great Party Asset Liquidation (拍賣國民黨－黨產大清算) from 2000, Party Asset Arrest Warrant (黨產追緝令) from 2008 and Declassifying Party Assets (黨產解密) from 2011.
In addition, there was full and correct information on the Cabinet’s party asset Web site before President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had it closed down on May 20, 2008.
If the KMT thinks that the handling of its controversial party assets has been completed, the party should publish an itemized list showing how this has been done. If it cannot do that, should people really let the party continue with its sophistry?
Taiwan Association of University Professors
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