The campaign office of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, yesterday released details of real estate listed in his and his wife’s name as the party accused the media and the government of improperly handling realty data.
Han has also faced criticism that he presents himself as an everyday man, despite purchasing a luxury apartment in Taipei in 2015 after media reported that Han had purchased a house there in 1993.
The information released yesterday at a news conference held by Sun Ta-chien (孫大千) and Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華), officials at Han’s campaign office, showed that Han and his wife, Lee Chia-fen (李佳芬), had purchased property in Taipei, Yunlin County and Canada, but currently only own a residence in Yunlin.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Their daughter Han Ping (韓冰) was gifted a basement residence in Canada, the information showed.
The couple owned a home in Taipei in 1993, but it was sold in 2002, the same year they moved back to Yunlin and purchased a house in Gukeng Township (古坑), Sun said.
The Gukeng house was sold in September for NT$8.5 million (US$278,342) at a net loss of NT$3.7 million, Sun said.
A house in then-Taipei County’s Banciao District (板橋) was purchased for NT$39.73 million in 2007, with a down payment of NT$8 million and bank loans, as well as financial assistance from family members, he said.
The sale of the Banciao property in 2010 coincided with a hike in real-estate prices, allowing the couple to realize a net gain of NT$16.42 million, after which they purchased a residence in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖), the information showed.
The Neihu home was sold last year at a net loss of NT$2.9 million and this year, the couple purchased a residence in Taipei’s Nangang District (南港) for NT$72.2 million, the campaign office said.
The Nangang residence was too much of a financial burden and was sold for NT$69.5 million, which, along with realtor’s fees and loan interest, brought a net loss of NT$4.28 million, the office said.
Not even Han could obtain the information reported by the media after the 2001 sale of the first Taipei home, Hsu said, adding that media claims that the information was from election notices was questionable.
The news reports had ulterior motives and it appears that someone leaked the information, Hsu said.
“Unless someone knew that Han would be running for president during his time as a legislator from 1993 to 2002, there would be no reason to collect this information,” she said.
KMT Administration and Management Committee director Chiu Da-chan (邱大展) said that the media reports were evidence that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was abusing its power as the ruling party.
Regulations state that information on realty ownership can only be archived for 15 years, which means that information about the couple’s purchase in 1993 and the sale in 2001 should not have been available, he said.
“It is odd that the media received 25-year-old information,” Chiu said.
However, a source said that details about the first Taipei property are in the Control Yuan’s Civil Servants’ Assets Declaration report, which is a public document.
At the news conference, the campaign office challenged President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is seeking re-election as the Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate, to make transparent her assets history.
Tsai’s campaign office said that in 2015 she made public information on her assets and has put them into a trust.
It urged Han’s campaign team to do its homework.
Not everyone could secure NT$93 million in bank loans over four years, Tsai’s campaign office said, referring to Han.
Sun and Hsu should consider this when they say that the “the average citizen is not poor and they too can purchase and sell real estate,” it said.
Additional reporting by Chen Yu-fu
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