KMT to take legal action against decision to seize businesses

The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) will take legal action against a Cabinet unit’s decision to designate the party’s two investment companies as “ill-gotten assets” that should be transferred to the state, the KMT’s chairwoman said Sunday.

Apart from the legal action, the party will not rule out the possibility of staging protests in opposition to the Ill-Gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee’s conclusion last week, said Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) during a KMT founding anniversary celebration in Chiayi County.

Hung blasted the new committee for “its concentration of administrative, legislative and judicial powers” and described the move to have Central Investment Co. and Hsinyutai Co. transferred to the state as extremely dictatorial, and a “violation of the law and the Constitution.”

The two companies have a combined value of NT$15.6 billion (US$494.17 million) and were determined to be KMT-affiliated organizations by the Cabinet committee last week.

If the companies are nationalized, the KMT will virtually lose all of its assets, because most of its property, including its headquarters, offices and local chapters and many other KMT-run enterprises are under Central Investment’s name.

At the celebration of the KMT’s 122-year-old birthday, Hung told party members that “it is fine to loss fortunes because what matters is the will of the people,” which she said the KMT has to win back to reclaim political power.

The KMT lost the presidential and legislative elections to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in January, with the DPP gaining a legislative majority for the first time ever.

The committee was set up by the new Cabinet in August based on the Statute on Handling the Inappropriate Assets of Political Parties and Their Affiliated Organizations, which was enacted by the DPP-dominated Legislature in July.

According to the statute, the committee is to investigate, retroactively confiscate and return or restore to the rightful owners all assets obtained by the KMT and its affiliated organizations since August 15, 1945, when Japan handed over what it controlled in Taiwan to the Republic of China, at which time the KMT was the ruling party.

The statute assumes that all KMT assets, except for its membership fees, political donations, government subsidies for its candidates running for public office, and interest generated from these funds, are “ill-gotten” and must be transferred to the state or returned to their rightful owners.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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