Top Hong Kong officials listed under false addresses on Companies Registry
Politicians who are company directors register offices as their homes
Colleen Lee and Olga Wong
A group of government officials and politicians who also serve as company directors appear to have incorrectly declared offices or factories as home addresses on the Companies Registry.
Accountant and lawmaker Kenneth Leung said it was a common practice and feared company directors "would not bother" to correct misinformation if the government went ahead with its plan to restrict details of the registry from public scrutiny.
"It is common for company directors to register a non-residential address as their home address - it is not in line with the spirit of the law," Leung said.
Nor does it appear to be in line with the letter of the law. The Companies Ordinance states that anyone who wilfully makes a false statement could face a fine of up to HK$100,000 and up to six months in jail.
Development Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po and Food and Health Secretary Ko Wing-man registered office addresses as their home addresses in directorship forms to the registry. Chan has a North Point office as his home address in his listing as a director of the company Rodl, Chan & Partners (Tax Adviser) Limited, which was dissolved in 2007. A Nathan Road office is listed as the home of Ko, a director of Chiu On Association.
Executive councillor Cheng Yiu-tong is shown as living at a Federation of Trade Unions address under his listing as a director of the Joint Committee for the Promotion of the Basic Law of Hong Kong, the Post found.
Politician Andrew To Kwan-hang and political scientist Joseph Cheng Yu-shek are registered as living at offices as directors of the New School for Democracy.
The Post unearthed the discrepancies as Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao found 12 of the 16 lawmakers who scrutinised the Companies Bill from 2011 to last year had apparently registered offices or factories as home addresses in the Companies Registry. Chan chaired the bills committee at the time.
Both Chan and Ko apologised for filling in the wrong addresses, with Ko saying he would resign his directorship.