Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members yesterday accused Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Nantou County commissioner candidate Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) of using public funds to build a private club on public land.
Nantou residents should not grant power to politicians with ties to gangsters, DPP caucus director Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) and DPP Legislator Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀) told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
They urged voters to reject Hsu and her family’s involvement in “black gold” politics.
Jiji Township (集集鎮) Mayor Chen Chi-heng (陳紀衡) alleged that Hsu and her family used their political influence to build a private club, including a guesthouse and recreational facilities, on public land in Nantou City.
Chen presented photographs, documents and local government records showing construction activity at the site.
The site around Nantou City’s Jili Road is public land, but Hsu’s family acquired it by illegal means and began developing the site in 1995, he alleged.
Hsu’s family later registered paperwork to “lease” three plots of public land around the site in 2001, while the private club was further expanded allegedly by using public funds, he added.
During Hsu’s term in office as Nantou City mayor from 2006 to 2014, 17 projects were commissioned and completed at the site and its surrounding areas, using NT$17.84 million (US$564,271 at current exchange rate) of public money, Chen said.
He said county residents must use their votes to reject Hsu, currently a legislator.
“If she wins the race, Hsu and her family might take over public parks and other sites as their personal property,” Chen said.
Tsai Pei-hui (蔡培慧), a former DPP legislator and the party’s candidate for Nantou County commissioner, showed a list of the 17 projects, including new access roads, road surface improvement, geotechnical engineering for retaining walls, slope stabilization, landscaping and gardening, as well as other construction work.
However, when Hsu was earlier this year confirmed as the KMT’s candidate in the local race, her family quietly dismantled many of the structures, Tsai said.
“They are afraid of being investigated for illegal occupation of public land and using government funds for their benefit,” Lin said.
“If Hsu is elected as county commissioner, will the dismantled structures be rebuilt and will the club expand even further?” she asked.
Lin compared Hsu’s family to Taichung’s Yen Ching-piao (顏清標) clan with its ties to “black gold” politics and influence in local government.
Lin said both families accumulated vast land holdings through questionable means and have allegedly associated with gangsters in the past.
“The two families are similarly engaged in ‘black gold’ politics, with their members getting elected as legislators, councilors or to other powerful offices to misappropriate government money and use public funds to benefit themselves,” Lin said.
Citing past news reports and lawsuits, Lin said: “Hsu’s private family club is well-known as a place for gangsters to negotiate deals. Judicial agencies have carried out numerous searches there since 1995 in connection to criminal investigations.”
“The cases include the possession of illegal firearms, intimidation and threats, sexual assault and forced confinement, along with other criminal activities,” Lin said.
She said that Hsu’s father, Hsu Tien-sung (許天送), was a prominent figure in local politics and was allegedly the boss of the “North-South Mainline” (縱貫線) gang.
“Hsu Tien-sung was the head of the gang and was active in Nantou County. He was convicted for several criminal violations and has served prison terms,” Lin said.
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