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  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 1:26pm

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

Paul Chan's political aide Henry Ho quits over Kwu Tung new town controversy

Henry Ho steps down after failing to declare family's stake in land on same Kwu Tung site, adding to pressure on beleaguered minister

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 August, 2013, 1:09pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 August, 2013, 10:12am

The controversy surrounding development chief Paul Chan Mo-po over the proposed Kwu Tung new town grew yesterday when his political assistant quit for failing to declare his family's stake in land on the same site.

Henry Ho Kin-chung, 41, Chan's assistant since December, apologised and bowed to the public for not declaring his interests to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Chan.

I did not declare. That is inappropriate, so I take responsibility and resign now
Henry Ho Kin-chung

"I did not declare. That is inappropriate, so I take responsibility and resign now," he said.

Ho is the second member of Leung's governing team to quit in the last two days.

Executive councillor Franklin Lam Fan-keung resigned on Thursday after the Department of Justice decided not to prosecute him over allegations of misconduct in office related to the sale of two Mid-Levels flats.

Ho found himself in hot water over four lots of land in the proposed Kwu Tung new town site he once held with family members through a private company founded by his father and uncle.

There is a also a factory on the site, operated by the family, that makes pesticides.

Ho was controlling shareholder and a director of the firm from September 2006 until November last year. He said he transferred his interests to his mother before his appointment.

But he did not explain why he failed to declare this after his appointment or more recently when Chan became embroiled in a similar conflict-of-interest row over the Kwu Tung site.

Chan has refused to step down after his wife and her family were revealed to own land in the same development area. He declared these interests to the chief executive two months after his appointment in July last year.

But political analyst Ivan Choy Chi-keung said Ho's move would exert pressure on Chan.

"Ho does not even have policy-making power but he still chooses to resign," said Choy.

"How can Chan have standards of political ethics lower than his aide?"

Lawmaker and Executive councillor Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said Ho had committed a "serious mistake" and his resignation was appropriate.

A government spokesman confirmed Ho never declared the land interests to the chief executive or Chan and cited codes for officials under the political appointments system.

"The code states that politically appointed officials shall report to the chief executive any private interests that might influence, or appear to influence, their judgment in the performance of their duties," he said.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said that he respected Ho's decision and did not believe his resignation would affect the work of the Development Bureau.



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This article is now closed to comments

Plans to develop an area are known to those "in the know" long before any official announcements are made.
Is there ANYONE connected with Exco or in senior Government positions with real integrity?
Quite right, but how many in Exco don't have business interests? Don't you see that the problem is that the Political Appointments System is rotten? This is at the heart of the problem of Hong Kong's government, it is becoming crony capitalism at its worst.
If Paul Chan still insists on staying even after this turn of event, then I think the CY administration is rotten to the very core, and will not be able to do accomplish anything for the rest of the term..........CY and his team have done nothing but bring embarrassment and shame to HK since becoming CE...............I have finally reached the point where I actually hope the Central Government steps in and replace CY and his whole administration............enough is enough!
Dai Muff
There are always ways to avoid a conflict of interest if you are honest. Both of these guys could have sold their land outside the family, through an intermediary, and without divulging government development plans. That way they would have received a fair price without relying on insider information and been ethically clean.
Talk about coincidences! 2 top men from the same bureau using similar tactics to 'dispose' of their assets to seemingly avoid being accused of 'conflict of interest'. I wonder whether it was Paul who learned from HO or the other way round.
they merely need to have people who do not have business interests, want to work for the community and in return get decent pay and a very good pension.
This is like pulling rabbits out of a hat! Any more surprises from this Government and its officials?
Maybe they need to hiring only people who are not established persons in society. Established persons are likely to have many connections that they are bound to be caught in a conflict of interest somewhere.
hard times !
if Paul Chan's politcal aide
had to go
so does Paul Chan himself !
Ho Kin-chung was just a
so-called politcal assistant
who held no real power
in the development plan
of north-east New Territorities !
If he had to step down ,
Paul Chan should have
to go too !
his wife (the second half)
and now in-law holds
the plot of land (three pieces
linked together indeed)
in Kuo Tung North
which still breaches
conflict of interest !
this wife's brother was once broke
his money to buy the land
was suspected coming from
his own sister, Freida !
then there is the question
of the holding companies
registered in British Vigrin
Islands which controls the land
the real owners have not
been disclosed due to
so-called privacy !
once sold, the plot of
land can easily
fetch 17 million
hong kong dollars !
if ho kin-chung
had to go, so does
Paul Chan !
right ?
Dai Muff
Faithful pupil.



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