Dongguan village chief's luxury villa draw comment

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 October, 2012, 4:36am

A village chief in Dongguan has sparked outrage among internet users when it was revealed that he owned a luxurious villa in a 7,000 square metre compound.

The three-storey house, with fish pond, swimming pool, basketball court, artificial waterfall and landscaped grounds, belongs to Chen Yaogen, party head of Yi village in Zhongtang, Guangdong, the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

Yi village has 3,000 residents, including migrants. Chen has been village party boss since 2005. The newspaper quoted an online posting which first exposed the villa as saying that Chen hired five domestic staff - a cleaner, chef, doorkeeper, gardener and laundry worker - to look after his villa.

Chen told the newspaper that he bought 400 square metres of residential land from four villagers in 2006 for 350 yuan (HK$430) a square metre. He built the town house two years later.

His brother leased the remaining land for the villa compound from the village committee. But the newspaper did not report how much rent Chen's brother has paid.

The township anti-corruption watchdog is now investigating Chen's case, but a propaganda official with the township government said Chen has a valid land certificate to build the villa.

The exposure of Chen's villa comes after that of other luxurious properties owned by Guangdong officials. On Wednesday, Guangzhou's Panyu district confirmed that a local political commissar owned 21 properties worth more than 40 million yuan. The Yangcheng Evening News reported yesterday that he had been suspended from his job.