The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) defended and provided a road map for the party's handling of its controversial assets in a new policy platform approved by its national congress Sunday.
Calling the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP's) pursuit of the KMT's "ill-gotten assets" a political attack, KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (???) said in her opening speech at the congress that her party will not hold on to its assets, but expects fair treatment.
Hung said the DPP brings up the issue of party assets acquired in dubious ways to attack the KMT whenever there is an election, but the KMT have used its assets to rebuild Taiwan's economy since the Second World War and cement the foundation of the economic boom during the second half of the 20th century.
In the newly passed policy platform, the KMT also stated that it dealt with the controversial assets through sales and trusts when the DPP was last in power between 2000 and 2008.
Past KMT statistics show that the net value of its assets, all of which have been put into trust, dropped from over NT$60 billion (US$1.89 billion) in May 2000 to NT$16.64 billion in December 2015, after the party returned various properties to the government and liquidated businesses it used to run.
The KMT's promise to donate its assets to charity, except for office buildings required for the party's operations and excluding the funding needed to cover pension and personnel expenses, has also been included in the policy platform.
The DPP's accusation, Hung said, is one-sided and narrow-minded, because the historical fact is ignored that the KMT spent the assets on building the country and creating prosperity for Taiwan.
KMT Secretary-General Mo Tien-hu (???), meanwhile, said in his report to the congress that the party filed a petition Sept. 1 for a Constitutional Court ruling on the constitutionality of the Act Governing the Handling of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations passed by the DPP-controlled Legislature July 25.
Under the terms of the act, which came into effect Aug. 10, all assets acquired by a political party since 1945, except for party membership fees and political donations, are to be deemed "ill-gotten" and must be relinquished to the government or rightful owners.
The KMT has implemented a variety of cost-saving measures, such as bonus and benefit cuts, and increasing the use of volunteer workers in running the party, since the act limits the sources of income of a political party to membership fees, donations and campaign subsidies, he added.
Mo said the KMT will seek public support on the issue by clarifying the misunderstanding and false accusations surrounding its assets.
During the Sunday meeting, the congress also approved the appointment of four vice chairmen -- Steve Chan (???), Jason Hu (???), Hau Lung-bin (???) and Lin Junq-tzer (???) -- and a reform package that involves restructuring of the party organization, improving the training of party officials at the local level and a plan to allow direct election of heads of local chapters in counties and municipalities.
In her speech to close the meeting, Hung announced that a task force will be set up to draft the rules for the direct election of local chapter heads, which was brought up by several party members during talks held in July and August.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel