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  • Jul 25, 2014
  • Updated: 8:13am
Yaan earthquake
NewsHong Kong
SICHUAN EARTHQUAKE

Hong Kong activists try to block quake donations over corruption fears

Campaigns launched over fears that corrupt officials will siphon off donations, including part of HK$100m government plans to give

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 April, 2013, 10:26am
 

Poll

  • Yes: 1%
  • Yes but with conditions to prevent misuse: 8%
  • No: 91%
23 Apr 2013
  • Yes
  • Yes but with conditions to prevent misuse
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 8,286

Activists and internet users in Hong Kong have launched campaigns against donating to quake-hit Sichuan.

They want to block a proposed donation of HK$100 million of public funds, arguing it will only feed corrupt mainland officials. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced the planned donation yesterday.

I am deeply sorry and feel sympathy for the disaster … but the mainland lacks a system rather than money. I do not wish to see the money fall into the pockets of corrupt officials

A special Legislative Council meeting tomorrow will be asked to approve it.

The proposal prompted debate on whether such a giveaway was is the best way to help.

Responding to such doubts, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the donations made by the Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee "will be subject to very stringent requirements and supervision".

"The public do not have to worry about it," Lam said.

But that failed to convince political parties and activists.

Such reluctance comes in sharp contrast to the generosity that followed the Sichuan earthquake five years ago, when the government gave HK$10 billion, and non-government groups raised HK$15 billion from the public.

Yesterday, the Macau government announced it was giving Sichuan HK$100 million. Unicef, The Salvation Army, The Red Cross, other local co-operatives and agencies had raised or donated at least HK$12.4 million in emergency relief by 6pm yesterday.

The Democratic Party and the Civic Party said they would decide today whether to support the government's proposed donation. Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said she received many objections about the funding plan.

"I am deeply sorry and feel sympathy for the disaster … but the mainland lacks a system rather than money. I do not wish to see the money fall into the pockets of corrupt officials," Lau said.

The Hong Kong City-State Autonomy Movement (HKAM) has launched a letter-writing campaign to urge lawmakers not to approve the funding, while internet users of the popular Golden Forum on the internet set up a campaign called "Don't donate a single penny".

"There is no reason for the government to use taxpayers' money for a donation," HKAM said in a statement. "The Chinese government does not need money as it has a lot of financial reserves."

Hundreds of users left comments on the forum saying they would not give any money to the mainland and dismissed the official government donation.

"HK$100 million could be used in many better ways to help Hong Kong, rather than wasting it on the mainland bureaucracy," one user wrote. Another said: "I doubt that even one dollar in a 100 would really go to helping the victims."

Senior journalists familiar with mainland affairs also reminded Hongkongers to think twice before donating. They said some of the money raised five years ago was wasted on fancy meals and building unused roads. A HK$2 million secondary school was built with donations but torn down after 11 months to make way for luxury flats.

Lawmaker Ip Kwok-him, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the party would support the donation, although he agreed that use of the funds must be strictly monitored.

 

HOW TO DONATE

WORLD VISION

By bank transfer:

Hang Seng Bank account number 286-364385-003

HSBC account number 018-554444-001

Bank of China (Hong Kong) account number 012-883-0-002502-5

HONG KONG RED CROSS

By bank transfer :

Hang Seng Bank account number 267-175123-001

HSBC account number 567-650155-016

Bank of China (Hong Kong) account number 012-806-0-000161-7

Bank of East Asia account number 514-40-39966-3

OXFAM HONG KONG

By bank transfer in Hong Kong:

HSBC account number 047-834668-001

Bank of China (Hong Kong) account number 012-874-0-010515-7

By bank transfer in Macau:

Bank of China Macau 01-01-20-840951

 

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13

This article is now closed to comments

hkiedlib
I believe HK should make a sizable donation to internationally recognised relief agencies such as Unicef, The Salvation Army and The Red Cross with the conditions that (1) the money be spent on helping the victims of this terrible disaster and (2) these organisations report back to the HK Government on precisely how the donation was spent and (3) the HK Government relay this information back to the HK public. Such an approach should allay justified fears od the donation falling into the hands of corrupt officials. This donation should be made as soon as possible.
the sun also rises
No wonder,activists object donations as much as HK$100 millions to aid the victims of Sichuan province since a large part of it might fall into the hands of the corrupted cadre officials which had taken place before after the earthquake in Min Chuan,Sichuan several years ago ! I and many of my buddies won't donate personally even a dime ! And we strongly demand our lawmakers to do follow-up of the donation once makes ! Okay ?
the sun also rises
why this time after the earthquake,most Hongkongese appear indifferent towards the donation appeal from the government headed by C.Y.Leung ? The answer is as simple as ABC ! Five years ago,we Hongkongers donated over HK$ 10 billions to aid the victims of Min Chuan earthquake.Yet later it was found that some donations were used by local cadres to build their fantastic office buildings while the rest were either used by corrupted officials to buy new sports cars or ...A middle school built by our donations was later demolished to give way to developers to build luxurious houses ! No doubt this time we Hongkongers (except pro-Beijing loyalists and pro-government elements) are not willing to even donate a cent to aid our compatriots who are in plight as all donations have to be sent to the Central government before distribuiting to the victims.Suppose we donate HK$10 dollars, if one dollar can finally be used on the victims of the natural disaster,then it is already a good news ! How corrupted the situation is in our present-day motherland !
the sun also rises
we really feel sorry for the plight suffered by up to one million earthquake victims in Sichuan where its officials are known for their corruption in the past earthquakes ! Now we just don't want our donation (up to HK$100 millions ) proposed by the Leung administration fall into the pockets of those corrupted cadres who used to grab profits after every natural disaster ! Our former ICAC head, Timothy Tong Him-ming is now known for his hosting luxurious dinners to visiting Sichuan officials who came here to thank us for our donations (up to HK$10 billions) in the last MinChuan earthquake during Tong's tenure ( 2007-2012).
gkuhl
According to the SCMP main page, this article has 8 comments. However, when clicking on the article I can't see any single comment. Is this censorship or is "just" the website software ****?
the sun also rises
I think our pan-democratic lawmakers should be cautious in the proposed donation of up to HK$100 million towards the Sichuan provincial government to help the victims of the earthquake at Ya'an since the lesson of Min Chuan is still clear in our minds----------lots of fund/donation to aid the last Sichuan earthquake fell into the pockets of courrpted cadres ! Now our chief secretary Carrie Lam said she and her government team would monitor the use of our donation to guarantee it won't be another fat meat of the corrupted cadre officials or their business partners in rebuilding the collapsed houses and schools or hospitals ! Just wait and see how this donation proposed by the Leung administration will end up !
sudouest
Hong Kongers should go personally to help in the quake, instead of donating. Even Russians and Mainlanders have already going in to help.
CatInAFlap
Why this story isn't on page one of the printed SCMP is quite remarkable.
waynewing
Kind of surprised and bewildered by the poll today relating to approval of the donation.
If CORRUPTION is the only concern, why should the majority have chosen "NO" instead of "Yes but with conditions to prevent misuse"? Is the hatred for central government now so acute now that some HK people could stand out "righteously" to not only leave malicious online messages, but also strip any intended condolence to those dead and wounded in Yaan?
eammon
Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is unbelievably incompetent if she thinks you can just choose to ignore the current problems and the public's concerns than to face them head on. It comes to a point where the only effective action is to go there to help these victims personally rather than to 'donate to these officials.'
This is exactly what's wrong with the Hong Kong government today, over-empowerment and influence from Beijing can only result a big hindrance to the city's society to move forward positively. It's a sad sad time we live in..
 
 
 
 
 

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