Chen seeks new place in Kaohsiung

The China Post staff

President Chen Shui-bian’s daughter, Chen Hsing-yu, confirmed yesterday that she and her brother took a trip to Kaohsiung on Sunday to help their parents find a new residence in the southern harbor city. She was accompanied by her brother Chen Chih-chung, her sister-in-law, and her husband Chao Chien-ming for the one-day trip aboard the high-speed train. Tthe four visited three buildings in different districts in Kaohsiung but made no final decision. She said one of the major considerations is to find a place convenient for her wheelchair-bound mother. Another key factor is the price of the property because President Chen wants a new apartment with price not exceeding NT$200,000 per ping (1 ping equals 36 square feet). When campaigning for Chen Chu, ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate in the mayoral race late last year, President Chen told people in Kaohsiung that he will buy a new home in the city if Chen Chu won the election. Chen Chu won the race by a razor-thin margin of only 1,114 votes out of a total of some 770,000 cast.

To honor his promise, President Chen’s children made the initial move of scouting for a new residence, although no dates for purchasing the property or for moving the first family’s home down to southern Kaohisiung have been set. President Chen is more likely to share the new apartment with his son and daughter-in-law in accordance with the local tradition. Real estate developers and construction companies have been using the president’s plan of purchasing property in Kaohsiung to help drum up realty estate sales in the city. Chen Hsing-yu and her husband Chao Chien-ming will probably purchase a separate apartment for their own. Chao, an osteopath, is presently working at a hospital in neighboring Tainan County while still waging a legal battle.

He was sentenced to six years by the Taipei District Court last year and his father eight years and four months for engaging in insider trading on Taiwan Development Corporation stocks.

Both of them had appealed the ruling. Separately, the Kaohsiung District Court is still reexamining and recounting the ballots cast in the disputed Kaohsiung mayoral race.

Huang Chun-ying, the main opposition Kuomintang’s candidate in the Dec. 9 election, challenged the election result in an attempt to invalidate the election result due to what he called irregularities in the race and demanded a new tally of the ballots.