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Apr 21, 2009

KMT party property, revisited.

Update: whoops, missed this Taipei Times article on the subject. It's a very clear and well written article.

I have still not gotten around to posting about this incredibly important move by the KMT to clear themselves of party property problems and go on selling land and material that were stolen or 'given' to the party by the government in the past. Until now.

Remember that NT$55billion (US$1.6billion) had been sold by the KMT over the first 7 years of DPP rule, and total KMT worth could have been up to US$10billion as of 2001.

There are a lot of excellent details in the post, but it can be summarized like this:

  • The DPP started pushing a law in September 2002. By 2004 there were PFP and TSU versions of the law. Main objectives would have been to review the process by which the KMT got a number of pieces of land and buildings that are now KMT party property. Many of these were either confiscated from Taiwanese (who had bought them from the Japanese before those soldiers left), taken over directly after the Japanese left (if the property had remained unsold), or gifted/sold out outrageously low rates (both happened) from the state to the party.
  • These bills basically would have forced the KMT to compensate the government for stolen property or return it to the state (and I presume private owners/their decedents in those other cases).
  • These laws were blocked in the Procedural Committee by the pan-blue majority 179 times over three Legislative Yuans. The KMT came up with its own lenient version of the bill, but didn't even pass that.
  • The Interior Ministry, however, under DPP Executive control, labeled a number of KMT properties with a special code that would make it difficult for anyone buying KMT party property to later claim, "Hey, I'm just a third party who bought this property legally! Can't take it from me now!" just in case the bill ever was passed. That made it difficult for the KMT to convince anyone to buy the property.
  • Now that the KMT's back in black, the new cabinet has removed this property code, reasoning that "the party property bills have been holed up in the legislature forever" so there is no legal basis for the code.
Shameless? Sure. Surprising? Not really. Could the DPP have done more? I think so, if they had bothered to mention the party property issue in public more often than the couple of weeks before an election.

Keep in mind the KMT has repeatedly promised to "solve" the party property issue, which they have also repeatedly openly stated means selling everything they own. They've also taken down a government sponsored website on this topic from the DPP days.

See also these related posts and sites for some background on the party property issue:

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