800 owed salaries due to frozen account

Some 800 full-time staff of the Kuomintang (KMT) have found themselves caught in the party's legal wrangle over its assets, as they are owed salaries for last month.

This comes after the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee froze one of KMT's bank accounts last month, preventing the party from cashing out cheques worth some NT$520 million (S$22.7 million) to pay staff wages and party expenses.

The committee has frozen the account while it probes the legitimacy of the party's assets.

KMT vice-chairman Steve Chan told reporters last week that the party intends to pay the salaries of its staff and that it is seeking ways to procure the funds.

But he did not say how it would find the money for the salaries.

"We do not have that much money on hand (to pay up)," he said.

The KMT sought a Supreme Court injunction last Friday to unfreeze the funds.

But it remains to be seen if the court order will come in time for the next payday at the end of this month.

The party's legal and financial woes have not deterred the employees affected, who said they will continue working for the party. Some said they intend to take up part-time jobs to tide them over until they get paid.

Mr Eric Huang, the party's international affairs head, told The Straits Times: "I believe that now is the crucial time that the party needs to stay strong and united in order to continue to play the role as a responsible opposition now to keep the government in check."

Jermyn Chow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2016, with the headline '800 owed salaries due to frozen account'. Print Edition | Subscribe