Donald Tsang

Tsang in trouble

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 March, 2012, 12:00am


What's happened? The ICAC has started to investigate claims that Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen may have accepted favours from his tycoon friends in breach of the anti-corruption law.


Who are these tycoons? Property tycoon Bill Wong Cho-bau is known as Shenzhen's Li Ka-shing. He owns a penthouse, which he plans to lease to Tsang for 80,000 yuan (HK$98,500) a month. He allegedly spent more than 10 million yuan on renovating the penthouse. Wong says he only paid HK$3 million for the renovations.

Cheung Chung-kiu is chairman of Cross-Harbour Holdings, which owns 50 per cent of the Western Harbour Tunnel Company and 39.5 per cent of Tate's Cairn Tunnel Company. He gave Tsang and his wife a lift back from Phuket island in Thailand on his private jet. Tsang says he paid the 'market price' for the trip.

Sing Tao News chairman Charles Ho Tsu-kwok owns a HK$152 million yacht, on which Tsang and his wife sailed back to Hong Kong from Macau. Tsang says he paid the price of ferry tickets for the ride.


Why could this be considered corruption? Hong Kong officials are supposed to do their jobs without 'fear or favour'. Tsang received what could be considered as 'favours'.

Many people are suspicious because Wong is a major investor in Digital Broadcasting Company (DBC), a company linked to Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, a former member of Tsang's cabinet. In January, the government gave its approval for the former education minister to be appointed DBC's chairman. However, under the Telecommunications Ordinance, Li could have been barred from such a position because his brother, David Li Kwok-po, who is chairman of Bank of East Asia, is a director of another big media player, PCCW.

No one is sure whether or not Tsang reported his friendship with Cheung during talks on the hot issue of tunnel tolls.


Where is Wong's flat? The sizeable penthouse is in the East Pacific Garden in Futian district, which has some of the most expensive buildings in Shenzhen.


When will Tsang move into the flat? He is expected to move into the penthouse on July 1, immediately after his second term in Hong Kong's top job expires.