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  • Oct 25, 2014
  • Updated: 11:59am
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 August, 2013, 4:08am

For pan-democrats, a Paris flight is a long way to fall

Michael Chugani says the pan-democrats' junket to Paris has exposed their hypocrisy in accusing others of official misconduct

Here's my tip to Franklin Lam Fan-keung: follow the stench. It'll lead you to a bunch of hypocrites. You can then look them in the face and say you forgive them even though they weren't man enough to say sorry for having wronged you. You have the moral authority to take the high ground now.

Lam became a punching bag for pan-democrat legislators when phoney claims surfaced that he had used insider information as an executive councillor to profit from property sales. His accusers demanded an ICAC investigation. They made themselves out to be saints, saying those in public office should be whiter than white. It turned out Lam indeed was; the Independent Commission Against Corruption cleared him of any wrongdoing.

But it turns out his accusers are anything but saints. They were among eight legislators who took a six-day trip to France with their family, compliments of Cathay Pacific. Talk about conflict of interest. Didn't pan-democrat legislators blast former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen for taking free rides on the private yachts and planes of tycoons? Didn't they slam former ICAC commissioner Timothy Tong Hin-ming for taking his girlfriend to official dinners? And here they are, going on luxury junkets with their family.

Cathay opposes a licence for competitor Jetstar Hong Kong but Democratic Party member Albert Ho Chun-yan, one of the pan-democrats who took the free trip, insisted there was no conflict of interest since the government, not the Legislative Council, issues aviation licences. Wake up and smell reality. Would Cathay fly legislators to Paris and put them up in top hotels for no reason? Why doesn't the airline do that for families in subdivided flats who deserve such junkets far more than our overpaid legislators?

Some of those who accepted the junket justified it by saying they needed to understand the impact of Cathay buying Airbus planes. What nonsense. Even if that were true, what's it got to do with their wives and children? Why include them in the junket?

Legislators have no direct role in granting aviation licences but they have loud mouths. If they shout out loud enough against a licence for Jetstar, the government would at least have to listen.

Legislators have no direct role in granting TV licences but that hasn't stopped them from slamming the government for delaying the granting of licences to three applicants. If the applicants lavished free trips to Paris on the pan-democrats - who all support the early granting of new TV licences - would that not be a conflict of interest just because legislators can't issue the licences?

The Paris trip has made the pan-democrats reek of double standards. They have since apologised but that means nothing. They used the ICAC as a tool to smear political foes. The ICAC has cleared Lam and former Exco member Barry Cheung Chun-yuen. But the jury is still out on Tsang and others. They should do what their pan-democrat accusers had done to them: march to the ICAC headquarters with TV news cameras rolling to demand an investigation into the junket.

Michael Chugani is a columnist and TV show host. mickchug@gmail.com

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babyhenry
If the ICAC steps in those hypocrites in Pan-dems will simply yell political prosecution, and how evil and bad CY is trying to bring them to justice ... oops I mean politically oppressing them.
mercedes2233
Please will ICAC also investigate Cathay Pacific for bribery? And the Tax Office should also tax the junket participants for the value of their trip. These legislators should really know better, having watched one Govt minister after another being lambasted in public. What happened to being 'whiter than white'?
daniel18
That is why I always say "pan-damns" just try to take advantage of government official, blaming them for their suspected conflict of interest, suspect bribes taking and hoarding farm lands! What about themselves? Never have any self reflection, suffering from a wishing thinking that they can act and speak like a saint. Please, "pan-damns", you make me puke!
dynamco
www.hongkongairport.com/eng/pdf/media/publication/report/12_13/E_09_The_Board.pdf
Check out some of the members on the Board of the Hong Kong Airport Authority
Are you surprised ?
The Honourable Albert Ho Chun-yan . Member of theLegislative Council. Tuen Mun District Council Member.
Member of the ICAC Complaints Committee.(Gee!)
Mr Stanley H ui Hon-chung JP
Chief Executive Officer Former Chief Executive Officer of Dragonair and Chief Operating Officer of Air Hong Kong.
The Honourable Chan Kam-lam Member of the Legislative Council
Chairman of the Panel on Transport, Member of the Finance Committee
The Honourable Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung Non-official Member of the Executive Council. Member
of the Legislative Council.
Ms Miriam Lau Kin-yee GBS JP Liberal Party ex Transport Functional Constituency member in Legco
ayaaaaaaaaah!
dynamco
hkupop.hku.hk/english/report/budgetAirline2013/content/resources/pr.pdf
Survey reveals Hong Kong’s demand for LCCs
Near 70 per cent of Hong Kong residents surveyed recently said they intended to travel on a low cost carrier (LCC) in the next 12 months despite LCCs only representing six per cent of all flights into and out of Hong Kong International Airport.
The research, conducted by the Public Opinion Programme at the University of Hong Kong (HKUPOP) on behalf of Jetstar Hong Kong, also confirmed the ongoing appetite from local residents for more low cost travel with 84 per cent saying they would welcome more LCCs to the market.
Key findings of the research:
• 79% of Hong Kong people said they will fly more if the fares are lower
• 81% of people said they would spend more on hotels and activities if they saved on their airfare
• 84% welcome more home-based LCC airlines
• Nearly 70% of Hong Kong people said they intend to travel on an LCC in the next 12 months
Jetstar Hong Kong CEO Edward Lau said the research indicated strong flow on benefits of more low cost carrier travel with 81 per cent of respondents saying they would spend more on their hotel and holiday activity if they could save on the airfare.
“By making air travel more accessible to more people, not only will we see more people travelling more often, but we will see people spending more money at their destination including those visiting Hong Kong,” Mr Lau said.
dynamco
Update:
found two more Legco members on the trip than the 8 members reported by the press
So, add Abraham Shek & Andrew Leung to the list
now 10 Legco members, 1 Exco member, 2 HKAA lobbyists, 1 unnamed HK Baptist U academic + equal number of family members = 28 freebies
www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1299095/no-room-advantage#comment-35363
(I wonder if CX charged them the fuel surcharge they hit the rest of us with ?)
Byebye
Excellent, dynamco. So, HKers, what are we waiting for? ICAC too?
dynamco
The group photo shows 28 freeloaders
16 women & 12 men of which 2 are obvious HKAA 3rd runway lobbyists
Assuming all took one partner that leaves the academic Who is the Baptist University freeloader ? EIA supporter ?
Legco
DEMOCRATS
1 Albert Ho Chun-yan
2 James To Kun-sun
ACCOUNTING
3 Kenneth Leung
DAB
4 Ip Kwok-him
5 Elizabeth Quat
LIBERAL Party
6 Felix Chung Kwok-pan
INDEPENDENTS
7 Chan Kin-por
8 Ma Fung-kwok
EXCO
9 Cheng Yiu-tong Chairman HKFTU
www.ceo.gov.hk/exco/eng/cheng_yiu-tong.html
www.ceo.gov.hk/exco/pdf/Cheng_Yiu-tong_e.pdf declared 09 AUG 2013 for France trip 17-21
AIRPORT AUTHORITY former chief executive
10 Billy Lam Chung-lun
AIRPORT AUTHORITY board member
11 Huen Wong
LEGCO
12 Abraham Shek
13 Andrew Leung
Unnamed academic from Baptist University
14 HU Da-fok RU
John Adams
Good work dynamco !
.
It does not need a group to go marching to ICAC HQ with political banners to start an investigation into this.
If it looks like a fish, and smells like a fish , and tastes like a fish ... then almost certainly it IS a fish, even though its name is "examine a new CX Airbus (for economy or business class seating ?!) " = junket.
.
(Funny how this is happening during Bo Xili's bribery trial )
.
If the ICAC is truly INDEPENDENT they should by now be monitoring all this SCMP reporting (and the comments !) and start their own unilateral investigation : both into all the law-makers and also CX itself for "giving / receiving an advantage without the permission of one's superiors". Note that the law-makers only reported the junket after the fact - they did not ask permission from their superiors ( = LEGCO ? The CE ?? ) before the fact. As to who authorized this at CX, only the ICAC can discover.
.
But FAR more important : how long has CX been doing this and who else in LEGCO / Govt has been the recipient of CX junkets ?
.
Come clean - or else risk being investigated by the ICAC. You have been warned.
dynamco
Actually some reported prior to the trip
The group photo shows 28 CX sponsored freeloaders
16 women & 12 men
see above update - Legco's Abraham Shek & Andrew Leung also on the trip
Who is the remaining Baptist University freeloader couple ?
Legco
DEMOCRATS Legco declaration of interest form date CX sponsored Trip to France
1 Albert Ho Chun-yan declaration 23/8 for trip 16-21/8
2 James To Kun-sun declaration 23/8 for trip 16-21/8
ACCOUNTING
3 Kenneth Leung declaration 13/8 for trip 16-21/8
DAB
4 Ip Kwok-him declaration 20/8 for trip 17-21/8
5 Elizabeth Quat declaration 20/8 for trip 16-21/8 via Frankfurt
LIBERAL Party
6 Felix Chung Kwok-pan declaration 21/8 for trip 17-21/8
INDEPENDENTS
7 Chan Kin-por declaration 22/8 for trip 16-21/8 (also adds Scottish Parliament trip 12-16/8 2013)
8 Ma Fung-kwok declaration 21/8 for trip 17-21/8
EXCO
9 Cheng Yiu-tong Chairman HKFTU
www.ceo.gov.hk/exco/eng/cheng_yiu-tong.html
www.ceo.gov.hk/exco/pdf/Cheng_Yiu-tong_e.pdf declared 09 /8 2013 for trip 17-21
AIRPORT AUTHORITY former chief executive
10 Billy Lam Chung-lun
AIRPORT AUTHORITY board member
11 Huen Wong
Unnamed academic from Baptist University
12 HU Da-fok

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