The yen criticized for building a house

  • By Jason Pan / Journalist

A former Taichung official said this week that Yen Kuan-heng (顏 寬 恒), who is the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate in the January 9 by-elections for the Taichung Second Electoral District, illegally built part of land protected by a house.

Yen is running against Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to take the seat of Chen Po-wei (陳柏 惟) of the Taiwan State-building Party, who was dismissed on October 23 .

Former director general of the Taichung Information Office, Cho Kuan-ting (卓冠廷), said Thursday that Yen had illegally built a luxury mansion partly on public land designated as protected in Longjing District (龍井).

Photo: Chang Jui-chen, Taipei Times

Earlier this month, the Taichung City government ordered Yen to demolish an illegal structure in Nantun District (南屯) that stood on public land designated to become a children’s park.

Cho said construction on the property began in 2012 and the 1,000 ping (3,306 m2) house was registered under Yen’s wife, Chen Li-ling (陳麗凌) name.

Chen Li-ling was awarded a 20-year lease for the land, paying NT $ 11,664 per year, Cho added.

Photo: Ho Tsung-han, Taipei Times

“It’s such a low price that their monthly rent is less than NT $ 1,000,” Cho said.

He said that Yen and Chen Li-ling initially applied for a regular building permit, then applied for and obtained an occupancy permit.

“Yen then broke the conditions of the ‘second phase’ building permits, in which he built a much larger structure, turning it into a luxury mansion with fences, a front door and walkways,” Cho said. “The front part of the plot is on public land designated as a protected area. “

Yen’s campaign spokesman on Friday quoted Yen as saying that only the front section is on public land owned by the National Property Administration, for which Yen has paid the required amount, and that the land is rented according to law.

Yen added yesterday that his family followed the law in all matters relating to property.

He said his critics are not the judges of what is legal, adding that the property was built two decades ago when Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) of the DPP was mayor of Taichung.

Legal issues regarding the property should have been raised at that point, as making it an issue now only suggests that there was administrative negligence on the part of the then city government, Yen said.

Speaking at a rally in Wurih District (烏 æ—¥), Lin Ching-yi said that Yen is “a repeat offender who uses legal and regulatory loopholes to steal public land.”

Additional reporting by Chang Jui-chen and He Tsung-han

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