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  • Jul 26, 2014
  • Updated: 2:03am

Paul Chan Mo-po

Paul Chan Mo-po is Hong Kong's Secretary for Development. An accountant and the former President of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), he was appointed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying after the resignation of Mak Chai-kwong following a housing allowance scandal. In July 2013, Chan was accused of a conflict of interest when it was revealed that he or his family had an interest in a plot of land in the New Territories that the government had plans to develop.

NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Paul Chan land scandal to paralyse Development Bureau, say lawmakers

Scandal-hit Development Bureau chief refuses to step down as legislators call for his head and question other commercial dealings

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 July, 2013, 5:27am

Lawmakers vowed yesterday to "paralyse" the Development Bureau after its controversy-plagued chief, Paul Chan Mo-po, ignored a Legislative Council motion calling on him to step down.

Speaking after the motion was passed 11 to 7 by the Legco development panel - in the absence of seven pro-government lawmakers - Chan said his colleagues at the bureau had expressed support for him in the past few days.

When the government comes to seek funding for the new town project and approval for new posts after the summer recess, we will try to stop it through different ways
People Power lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip

"They are happy to carry on working with me and I'm still committed to serving Hong Kong," said Chan, still embroiled in a conflict-of-interest row over ownership of land in the New Territories that is to become part of a new town.

People Power lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip, who moved the motion on the second day of a special Legco development panel meeting to discuss the row that has engulfed Chan this week, said the party would use various means to "paralyse" the bureau.

"When the government comes to seek funding for the new town project and approval for new posts after the summer recess, we will try to stop it through different ways," he said after the meeting. "A filibuster will be one."

Reports in the past few days showed that Chan's wife, Frieda Hui Po-ming, and son had co-owned with others - through a number of companies - 18,000 sq ft of land in Kwu Tung North, which is earmarked as a new town. Chan, as a company director at the time, although not a shareholder, bought the land in 1994, two years before the area was identified for development.

The minister reiterated yesterday that his wife had sold all her land interests in the area in October.

Before the vote, pan-democratic lawmakers called on Chan to resign.

"You can no longer carry on policies because whatever you do, people will still focus on this scandal. You have become a negative asset to the government. You should go now," said Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing.

A second motion urging Chan to disclose all his personal and family property interests related to the new town project was voted down. Pro-government legislator Ann Chiang Lai-wan, who opposed it, said it would mean the minister would have to reveal his friends' interests, too.

Asked to comment, Chan said: "What time frame do you want for disclosure? … Does the word 'family' include my wife's relatives?"

Chan also gave a new clarification on last year's subdivided-flat scandal, in which his wife was accused of running a business that turned old flats into horror homes. He said her holding was held "in trust" for a friend.

Dennis Kwok of the Civic Party was not convinced.

"There is no document to show trust ownership," he said. "The arrangement is strange."

 

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This article is now closed to comments

daily
Because of this man's personal ambitions to finally be a minister of the HK government, and his unwillingness to resign, he has single-handedly crippled the development bureau. This is why HK is going downhill since CY Leung has taken over as CE. Officials are not being accounted for their wrongdoings and they can get away with anything..........sometimes, I think the Central Government really should step in and get rid of guys like CY and Paul Chan............they are not serving HK.........they are killing it.
chuchu59
You may be right but he tried to keep it within the family after he took up the development secretary's post and he may now reap a windfall by selling it at a market price now. He tried to keep it within arm's length by selling it to a relative and this alone constitutes conflict of interest.
the sun also rises
agree with Jve that the Chan Scandal clearly reflects that our beloved Hong Kong really needs a democratic political system---the chief executive is elected by a geniune universal suffrage through 'one man,one vote'mechanism.If the Leung administration was elected by the people,he and his team have to be accountable to the people and Paul Chan has already stepped down.Yet now as he was appointed by C.Y. as a minister of accountability who is responsible to the chief executive only.If C.Y.supports him,we can't force/ask him to go.And C.Y.'s post is determined by Beijing---his utimate boss.If Beijing wished Chan to go (as rumoured these days but Chan and C.Y.are still negotiating for a better term to go since they have known each other quite long and Paul knows a lot about C.Y.'s dark sides maybe), then Paul Chan will soon step down.Probably after the march staged by the People's Front on 28th July (Sunday) to ask Paul Chan to go !
the sun also rises
anyway,the land is now still in the hands of close relative of Paul Chan,his wife's brother who once was broke and now live at The Horizons, Aberdeen.Besides,Paul's wife claimed that her stake in the company ( Orient Express) was sold to her brother last October at a price tag of HK2.7 millions.But she didn't let the media see the document of the trading ! Has the money been paid to her up till now is still a question ! Now the piece of land is said to be sold by public bidding later on but it will certainly fetch a good price since the plot of land is within the development plan of the Leung administration. Right ?
impala
It is completely irrelevant how long ago he or his family bought the land. Even if they had bought in the year AD 1698 it would not have mattered.

The problem is that was proposing and pushing hard for a policy under which he knew very well that he and his family would have an direct disproportionate financial gain.That is a conflict of interest not worthy of a senior government official and plain abuse of power.
impala
This is an excellent illustration of why we need more democracy in Hong Kong.

In a universal-suffrage-based multiparty democracy, Mr Chan would have long lost his party's support and be forced to resign in the face of such public outcry over this scandal. His party would -rightly- fear that they would be held accountable by the public at the next polls.

Only in a rigged system like Hong Kong can a disgraced official like Mr Chan stay at his post unpunished, unaccountable and unfazed. Every single other government official must be taking note, and thinking: it is apparently fine to propose policies that will benefit me, or my family.

Banana Republic Hong Kong - Coming Soon.
lausyman
it doesn't really matter now what the selling price was. When the land is sold to the government, they will make a nice profit and the brother will take a handsome fee for holding the property for the Chans.
the sun also rises
those were the days
when battered Paul Chan
and his dear spouse
could raise the glasses
and laugh away the hours
thought of all the great things
they could do---trading of subdivided
flats and farmlands
those were the days, Paul Chan
don't think they would never end
sing and dance forever--making big bucks
just have to end
my friend
you'd fight and never lose ?
but you are getting old
and sure couldn't have
your way now and forever
maecheung
" Chan ............ bought the land in 1994, two years before the area was identified for development." and 14 years before he was elected to the Legislative Council. I just don't see why he should resign for this. It's people lawmakers like Chan Wai Yip, Wong, and Long Hair who are bogging down any government actions and taking HK downhill.
 
 
 
 
 

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