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  • Aug 2, 2014
  • Updated: 12:56am

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

18,000 sq ft plot is no stockpile, Paul Chan’s wife declares

Lawmakers accuse her of distracting attention from minister's failure to declare interest

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 July, 2013, 3:32pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 July, 2013, 7:22am

Lawmakers remained unconvinced yesterday after development minister Paul Chan Mo-po's wife said that if she wanted to stockpile land with development potential in the New Territories she would have bought more than one plot in 19 years.

With her husband still embroiled in a conflict-of-interest row over farmland at Kwu Tung that is included in a new town plan, Frieda Hui Po-ming made the point in a statement published in several Chinese-language newspapers yesterday.

She also apologised for causing her family trouble over the land and insisted that her husband had never owned the 18,000 square foot plot.

"It is not a stockpile of land," she said. "If it was, I would not have bought just one plot of land over 19 years."

Cyd Ho Sau-lan of the Labour Party said: "It doesn't matter if she bought only one piece of land or lots of land. Former financial secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung stepped down just because he bought a car before he raised the vehicle tax."

Hui said the land was bought through Statement Industries in 1994, but the government did not announce Kwu Tung as a "potential strategic development site" until 1996.

Having already sold her interest in the company that holds the land, she further pledged in the statement to disclose all documents related to her own family's connection to the site. The land is due to be sold by open tender at market price.

She also condemned journalists for following her children.

Lawmakers passed a non-binding motion last Friday calling on Chan to step down, and thousands of people joined a march on Sunday to express their dissatisfaction with him.

The Legislative Council development panel will hold its third and fourth hearing on the Northeast New Territories Redevelopment plan today and tomorrow. It proposes new towns at Fan Ling North and Kwu Tung North and includes the plot in question.

Civic Party lawmaker Kenneth Chan Ka-lok said Hui was trying to distract the public from the key issues. "Chan's inability to declare interest publicly and the actual and substantial gain involved are the main points."

He said Chan, as the bureau chief, could no longer lead the redevelopment project, urging him to hold himself accountable and step down.

 

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the sun also rises
'18,000 sq.feet of farmland
bought in 1994 but used
to be abandoned
awaiting the planned
development of the area
so that the land price
will raise to sky-high
and huge profits
can be fetched
it is not so-called stockpile
of land but instead
it is a smart investment
only----to get rich quick !
what is wrong with that ?
I did not steal or rob
but just transactions only
either in subdivided flats
in tenement buildings
in Shamshuipo found
last year or now
the land at Kuo Tung
are legal and lawful
business investments
right ?'
said Paul Chan
and his wife.
Camel
No matter what. He should have disclosed the fact earlier that land is owned by member of his familiy. Actually all lawmakers, government officials - politicians have to have open books about themselve once they are assigned into a government position. There is no way out and this is the rule. It is not wrong to own the land but it was a big mistake as a leader of a government body concerning land development not to disclose that his family owns land.
Paul Chan should do what Antony Leung did. Step down as his integrity is damaged. He should have known it better.
mercedes2233
It is wrong to be responsible for the development of that area of New Territories when he and his family have definite interests. Even if he didn't resign from his Govt post, he should withdraw from being the driver of that project. That is the least he could do to show no conflict of interest. He is stupid.
22gt7
Let’s focus on what is the most important aspect of the system of declaration of interests. Declaration of interests does not entitle a person to do something wrong. Say a robber makes a declaration of interests to a policeman that he will obtain benefits (his interests) from the money he is going to rob another person. (The robber has conflicting interest with the one being robbed.) The robber’s declaration does not give him the right to rob another person. It is obvious the most important thing the policeman must do after the robber’s declaration is to stop him. It follows that the system of declaration of interests, however improved, is of no use if the reportee (the one to whom the conflict of interest is reported) does not take action to prevent the conflicts of interest. In this case, who is the more accountable culprit?
daily
Glad to see so many comments that are in synch with the situation at hand...............If Paul Chan really still stays on, he alone will create discontent in HK's society...........enough of his BS of staying on to serve HK..........why doesn't he get it that HK doesn't need people like him.........He is simply holding onto a job that he doesn't deserve.
scmpcuty
Enough is enough! This man should step down if he wishes to preserve any remaining dignity to his name. Already he stirred up two big scandals and the public will not go quietly this time. No offense, but what's with these Chans ...Tony aka Peter Chan, Paul Chan...and they all seem to quote from bibles! Give me a break!
chuchu59
I dont know what Frieda is trying to get at. When the farmland is sold at market price through open tender later she or rather her family will have reaped the rewards through an inflated price brought about by the involvement of her husband on the project. What she was right about though is her children should be spared from this ordeal.
druwong123
That is a rather weak argument, and likely to result in the opposite of the intended effect. If people already think you are cheating, you will change no one's mind by saying "if I really wanted to cheat, I would have cheated more".
This government needs some serious help on the PR front - and I do not mean the kind of PR that limits itself to simply "choosing words carefully" (which is widely ridiculed in the public and led to greater distrust). It remains very out-of-touch with the sentiments of almost every part of the public in HK (and I am not sure how well it understands the mood in Beijing either). On every turn of every issue its anticipation is poor, it is reactive rather than proactive, and more often than not digs an even bigger hole for itself than before.
Byebye
Paul Chan quotes Micah of the Bible. Can I tell an event in the book of Acts ~ “But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 5:1, 2). They collaborated on a plan to stash some of the money from the sale of their property in a safety deposit box for themselves and take the rest to the apostles. They would not necessarily say they were giving all of the money they received from the sale; they would just let everyone assume that. And they would have instant acclaim as spiritual, self-sacrificing believers who had surrendered everything to Jesus Christ.
What was so wrong with their plan? They did not really lie to anybody, did they? They just gave the money and said nothing about what percentage of the total sale price it represented. They could not help what other people thought, could they? Evidently they could. Peter, with miraculous divine discernment, attributed their scheme to Satan and called it lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3). He explained that they were under no obligation to sell their property. And even after they sold it, they were under no obligation to give all the money to the church. But they were obligated to be honest (Acts 5:4). The major sin of Ananias and Sapphira was dishonesty, deceit, hypocrisy, pretense, presenting a false image of themselves!
xpcklam
I interpret it differently. In Acts 4.32 - 'no one said that any of his belongings was his own, but shared with one another everything they had.'
Peter in Acts 5.3 said Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit.
You can judge whether Paul Chan lied; but I believe his disclosures are lawful (i.e. he didn't lie but court will have final say) but politically inadequate.
I'll further point to Romans 13:1 -2 which is about respect to State Authorities. These are the words of Apostle Paul who had been beaten, imprisoned many times; &
John 8:1-11 about about the adulterous woman - where Jesus said 'whomever of you had not sin cast the first stone'.
Jesus concluded in Mark 3.24 - a country that is divided cannot stand. He didn't say how long....

jandajel
When the wife takes out newspaper advertisements to defend her behavior, it is time for the minister to say goodbye.
the sun also rises
Freida has never intended to accumulate farmland while her husband bought it in 1994 ? As all know, the plot of land is surrounded by village houses and it is difficult to access it too. It was once rented to a farmer for a rent of HK$ 60 half a year.Though fruit trees could be planted there but it was instead abandoned for years and has been encircled by wires.Paul Chan has never been seen by his alumni, Ms Chung Yiu-ching (who lives in the neighbourhood ) there ! The piece of farmland was bought at a price tag of only 0.35 million but now it worths HK$17 millions since it is located within the North-east New Territories Development Region---Kuo Tung North.No one can believe the plot of land was not bought and abandoned for waiting to be resumed by the government at a high price ! Right ? Ms **** Po-ming is telling lies in broad daylight indeed !
impala
And very special thanks to David Wong for ripping that enormously informative and illustrative photo off Google StreetView.
m2leung
Paul Chan and wife may be stupid and naive, but Hong Kongers should not be upset that some members of our society have accumulated assets (especially 19 years ago when he does not know he will one day become the development secretary). Is there a conflict of interest? Yes, but he has actually satisfied our disclosure regulations for public officials. Hong Kong should strengthen its laws on disclosures and Paul Chan is a stupid fellow, but there is no point to waste so much energy on such a small piece of land.
mercedes2233
19 years ago he might have known through his various memberships and on Legislative Council of the plans to develop that area of the New Territories. He would have benefitted even without being Development Secretary. Why else do they have a piece of land there lying unused but nowhere else?
daily
I think her biggest mistake is the claim that selling the land to her brother rids her of all interest of the property.......it is not an arms-length transaction and there is still the very evident potential her brother is holding onto the property to sell after the government starts developing and reclaiming the land.............the monetary benefits is still within the close-knit family so this sale to the younger brother means absolutely nothing..........I think the Chan family lacks even the most basic knowledge of what constitutes "conflict of interest". Paul Chan does not even lack the most basic commercial business knowledge, let alone trying to be the development minister.........Can this guy even come up with any more reasons or excuses to stay on?..........Please leave and give HK a break man!
 
 
 
 
 

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