Democrats clear founder of improper dealing claim

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 January, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 January, 2002, 12:00am

The Democratic Party yesterday cleared founding member Lo Chi-kin of an allegation of conflict of interest made by a party colleague.

Legislator Albert Chan Wai-yip claimed that Dr Lo, who runs a public relations firm, had sought a government document from him for business purposes in 1996. Mr Chan said he had rejected the request, while Dr Lo said he had no recollection of the incident.

Dr Lo was cleared at a meeting of the party's central committee. After the meeting, Democrat vice-chairman Law Chi-kwong said the party was satisfied that no improper dealings had transpired. 'We believe that no one has done anything against the public interest,' Dr Law said.

Dr Lo, who held posts on the mainland and in public relations units of the party, has resigned as a party official but will remain an ordinary member.

The Democrats also appointed a three-member working group to review whether members' declarations of interests were sufficient.

At present, members are only required to declare to the party their occupation.

'In the light of public wishes and the Gary Cheng [Kai-nam] incident, we think it would be better if there were clearer guidelines,' Dr Law said.

Cheng, a former Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong legislator, was jailed last month after he was convicted of passing on confidential government documents to a client from his public relations firm.