DPP’s vice presidential nominee Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) is accused of having declared a mansion a farmhouse, so as to use agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes.
United Daily News (聯合新聞網, UDN) and the China Times (中時電子報), both KMT-leaning, carried the story on Thursday. Excerpts from the UDN article are available in English, on the official Central News Agency‘s (CNA) website. UDN comes across as more vocal than the China Times – “Su Jia-chyuan reminds us of Chen Shui-bian”, says UDN. This appears to be over-egged when considering that many of the charges against former DPP president Chen Shui-bian after his presidency were criminal charges, while those against Su Jia-chyuan may just amount to a regulatory offense, or maybe not even that. But then, only Su’s pattern of defending himself “reminds us”, i. e. UDN, of Chen Shui-bian, anyway.
The China Times, on the other hand, compares Su with Chen Shui-bian’s predecessor, Lee Teng-hui (李登輝, KMT chairman during his presidency, and a KMT member until some time after his last term as president). Lee is praised by the China Times for his steadfastness in defending farmland against legislators who wanted restrictions on land sales to be relaxed, back in 1998. Lee had backed government offices which opposed the motion, even if with limited or without success, the China Times seems to suggest.
“Limited farmland sales” became legal “under certain conditions”, in September 1998.
Defending the liberalization measures at the time, president Lee, himself an agricultural economist and former cabinet minister without portfolio, responsible for agriculture, called for reserving the remaining arable land for agricultural development which should follow the example of the Netherlands.
Land ownership, landuse rights and land seizures have remained a controversial issues in Taiwan. Only in July this year,
Hundreds of angry Taiwanese farmers staged a protest in Taipei overnight, demanding the government abandon proposals that would make it easier for their land to be forcibly turned over to developers,
In that light, the allegations against Su Jia-chyuan must be welcome news for the KMT headquarters. If they are going to evaporate or if they will pose a threat to his popularity remains to be seen. The China Times’ headline, too, is pregnant with election campaign issues – “Su Jia-chyuan doesn’t live up to Lee Teng-hui” (苏嘉全对不起李登辉), it reads.
Meantime, Tsai Ing-wen, DPP chairwoman and her party’s presidential candidate, has returned from a visit to Japan where she was “slighted” by Taiwan’s representative in Tokyo, John Feng (馮寄台), who picked up his wife at the airport instead – reportedly thirty minutes before Tsai’s arrival there.
» If King Ma Loses…, October 4, 2011