• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 2:38am

Franklin Lam Fan-keung

Franklin Lam Fan-keung is an Executive Council member. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Manchester and is a founder of HKGolden50, an independent non-profit policy research organisation. During the Asian financial crisis in 1997, Lam served as a part-time member of the Central Policy Unit. He then became a managing director at UBS from 2000 to 2011.

 

NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Franklin Lam in clear on ICAC flat sales probe, but he quits Exco

Councillor resigns despite insufficient evidence over allegation of misconduct surrounding the sale of two flats ahead of new stamp duties

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 August, 2013, 4:55pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 August, 2013, 3:47pm

Executive councillor Franklin Lam Fan-keung quit yesterday, even though the Department of Justice decided not to prosecute him over allegations of misconduct in public office and offering illicit advantages.

Lam stepped down after nine months' leave of absence prompted by criticism he made use of insider information to sell two flats ahead of new housing stamp duties. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying accepted his resignation with regret.

He becomes the second Exco member to step down since Leung took office 13 months ago. Barry Cheung Chun-yuen quit in May after being investigated by police over his failed Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange.

Pan-democrats issued a complaint against Lam, a property analyst, to the Independent Commission against Corruption over the sale of two Mid-Levels flats a few weeks before the government imposed new stamp duties to cool the market in late October. The ICAC has completed its investigation and sought legal advice from the Department of Justice. Yesterday, Director of Public Prosecutions Kevin Zervos said Lam and his wife would not be prosecuted.

Zervos said he agreed with independent legal advice from senior counsel Peter Duncan that there was insufficient evidence to secure a prosecution for misconduct or offering extra commission to a property agent.

He also rejected suggestions it was a political decision.

"I am here because I want to assure you this case has been properly considered as any other case, being carefully evaluated with the evidence," he said.

Zervos noted the couple put the properties up for sale months before the government decision to cool down the market.

Also, Lam was absent from Hong Kong during the time the measures were discussed at an October 25 Exco meeting.

The justice department said no extra commission was paid, despite an earlier offer to the property agent.

The offer did not constitute an offence since it was made known to the property agency, the department said.

Lam said it was comforting the graft-busters had cleared his name. But he was unhappy that false accusations were made against him and that some people and the media had tried to put him on "public trial".

Executive councillors Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun and Cheng Yiu-tong said it was regrettable holders of public office chose to resign because they were disheartened by such criticism.

Such moves were not conducive to the city's long-term development, as talented people could be put off joining the administration, they said.

Lam Cheuk-ting, a former ICAC investigator now with the Democratic Party, said Lam's resignation would exert pressure on development minister Paul Chan Mo-po, who is embroiled in a conflict-of-interest row over land zoned for a new town.

Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said Lam's resignation at this time was "a selfish act". He added: "Lam could have saved some credibility for Exco … had he resigned earlier."

 

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5

This article is now closed to comments

daily
So now let's do the same for Paul Chan.............why should he be protected by CY?
mcheung
He is cleared by the ICAC, his forward thinking skill and now the resignation is a loss to the Executive Council and our government. Any successful and capable private citizen would think twice before joining the government and public service. A victory for the incompetent opposition lawmakers!
Another Social Critics...
薄熙来的事情告诉我们,在当下的中国,领导干部不应把个人影响力估计过高,否则就可能产生置自己于党纪国法之上的冲动。研究中国的人如果搞错这一点,就会堕入错觉,看偏这个国家....
.............................................................Fully Applied to 'CY'.................................................................
Au Ma Lun(Ex-Macau Official) Incident of Corruption....
.............................................................Fully Applied to Cheung C.Y., Chan M.B., & ETCs.................
ICAC's & Central China Government should Immediately Step-In...
.............................................................FULL INVESTIGATION & COMING PROSECUTION............
mh0908
A noble and honourable conduct. Well done!
johnyuan
The following is in respond to Elise Tu’s letter in Letters to the Editor (SCMP July 30):
Directing towards the second generation from the 80s on, the population began immersed in get rich as a life goal. Property speculation and anything connected with property, the easiest means to get rich became the king of the city. What comes to light of late, officials and citizens alike all play up the property game in want to get rich. The swapping of properties to cheat government in fact was an acceptable practice until now. In fair assessment, all known movers and shakers and whoever less so, officials or non-officials can’t stand alone outside of the prevailing culture. The political divide circumstance nowadays has compelled to refute the culture. So far since the last CE election, individual’s wrong doing is for public display. Doing so in timely manner, we are actually being even more dishonest. The fallouts of an acrimonious society are that people live in fear and government can’t function with an unpredictable crippling team in the making. It is time that CY Leung should institute an amnesty over law breakers which are connected with property. Set condition(s) and forgive and move on. Hong Kong will survive after the hangover as a modern city with whomever as the CE.

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