Friend-turned-foe of CY Leung set to remain Hong Kong delegate to CPPCC
A former supporter of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is likely to get another five-year term as a delegate to the nation's top advisory body despite a scathing attack on Leung and his arrest in a corruption probe.
Lew Mon-hung, a local delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), was notified by the central government's liaison office on Friday that his tenure would be renewed next month for five more years, said one source, a CPPCC delegate.
But Walter Kwok Ping-sheung, the ousted Sun Hung Kai Properties' chairman and currently a member of the CPPCC standing committee, looks likely to lose his seat.
The list of delegates from Hong Kong will be finalised by the committee, which starts a four-day meeting today.
Tung Chee-hwa, a CPPCC vice-chairman and former Hong Kong chief executive, will be named again as a delegate. This will pave the way for his re-election as a vice-chairman. It is unclear if Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, who stepped down as chief executive in June, could become a vice-chairman.
Tsang's reputation has been tainted after revelations that he accepted favours from tycoons and stayed in plush hotel suites on official trips. Tung will stay on to help Beijing improve its ties with the US as chairman of the China-United States Exchange Foundation.
Lew claimed Leung lied over unauthorised extensions at his homes on The Peak, and failed to honour a promise to appoint him to the Executive Council in reward for his support during the election campaign.
The source said Lew and fellow delegates whose tenures were renewed were asked to sign a form to indicate their willingness to accept the offer and update contact information.
"Lew returned the form to the liaison office on Saturday," the source said. "Barring any incident, he will be able to keep his post on the CPPCC."
Lew, who turned from friend to foe of Leung in a damning interview with the Chinese-language iSun Affairs magazine published last week, also accused Leung of failing to honour a pledge to nominate only him as a member of the CPPCC standing committee.
So far Lew, who is better known by his nickname Dream Bear, has not presented any written evidence to back up his claims. When asked about the likelihood of his tenure being renewed, Lew said: "How come you got the news so quickly? I won't comment on it."
Lew is on bail after he was arrested earlier this month as part of an Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation into listed firm Pearl Oriental Oil, of which he is a deputy chairman and executive director.
"Beijing believes that stripping Lew of his post on the CPPCC at this stage would amount to pushing him to the opposition camp. Besides, there is still no sign he will be prosecuted by the ICAC," the source said.
Another local delegate to the CPPCC said Kwok, a non-executive director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, was not on the list of delegates for the next term.
Kwok was arrested and released on bail in May last year by ICAC investigators in connection with a graft inquiry into brothers Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen.
Leung's rival in the chief executive election, Henry Tang Ying-yen, is expected to be named as a delegate.