KMT siphons off NT$600 million from Taiwan National Women’s League: Report

The political party is reportedly the second largest beneficiary from the league’s donations

The photo shows the front of the National Women’s League building in Taipei.

The photo shows the front of the National Women’s League building in Taipei. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Kuomintang affiliates and politicians were said to have received a total of NT$600 million (US$20.53 million) over the last decade from the National Women’s League (NWL), according to a report by Upmedia on Tuesday.

People familiar with the matter told Upmedia that the Ill-Gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee discovered the transactions through a vast trove of data and papers seized during its visit at the organization. The committee found that the organization collectively contributed NT$600 million to finance the operation of KMT-funded think tank the National Policy Foundation, the Minsheng Development Foundation (民生建設基金會), and the non-profit Care-for-elderly Cultural and Educational Foundation (關懷長青文教基金會).

The donations also partially went to KMT politicians including former legislator and famous commentator Chiu Yi (邱毅), acting legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰), Taipei City councilors Li Keng Kui-fang (厲耿桂芳), Chin Huei-chu (秦慧珠), and William Hsu (徐弘庭). The report said that the amounts of donations varied greatly among individuals and organizations from hundreds of thousands to tens of millions in local currency.

The report said that the biggest beneficiaries of the National Women’s League’s donations are four of its subordinate organizations, which collectively accounted for 37 percent of its NT$1.925 billion (US$65.80) donations made over the past decade. The second largest beneficiaries were KMT affiliates and politicians, which was followed by the affiliated organizations founded by the former NWL’s chairwoman Cecilia Koo’s family businesses at up to 12.5 percent of the total donations, including the non-profit C. F. Koo Foundation (辜公亮文教基金會), and an art performing space called New Stage (新舞臺).

The Ill-Gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee announced last month that the committee was freezing the entire NT$38.5 billion (US$1.32 billion) in assets belonging to the league as it ruled the organization was affiliated to the KMT. The affiliation was clear since the political party had always maintained a tight hold on the group’s personnel, finances and general affairs, the committee said.

The NWL was founded by President Chiang Kai-shek’s wife Soong Mei-ling back in 1950, at the height of the Cold War and the White Terror, and has therefore always been seen as being closely tied to the KMT.