Lantau development advisers urged to disclose all potential conflicts of interests

Committee set up to develop Lantau should be as transparent as possible, activists say

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 February, 2014, 3:23am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 February, 2014, 3:23am

Lantau development advisers should declare all their possible business connections and interests on the island before they start work, activists say.

The call to members of the government's Lantau Development Advisory Committee comes from the newly formed Save Lantau Alliance.

"They should be as open and transparent as possible," alliance spokesman Kwok Ping said yesterday. "Their declaration rules should be no less stringent than those of the Executive Council and Legislative Council."

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying set up the committee to tap opportunities on the island when the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge opens in 2016.

Declaration of interests will be discussed at the first meeting on March 8. Members will also discuss their terms of reference, meeting rules and preliminary development ideas.

Kwok said the committee should not keep the public in the dark about any potential conflicts of interest.

The alliance, comprising eight concern groups, has sent e-mails to each of the 19 non-official members, asking them to answer queries by March 6 about any connections to businesses, land or property on Lantau involving them, their relatives, employers and clients.

Kwok cited member Andrew Lam Siu-lo, who had been running what he called experimental farms on land he said he had borrowed from local villagers. Green groups reported little farming activity on the land but signs of vegetation clearance.

Kwok also had reservations about the appointment of Randy Yu Hon-kwan, a Sino Land manager who is the son-in-law of Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat. Sino has a development in Mui Wo and runs a heritage hotel in Tai O, he said.

Meanwhile, the committee plans to visit western Pearl River Delta cities in April.

Members will study the town planning of Foshan and Nansha , visit a private housing estate and a resort area in Zhongshan and a theme park in Zhuhai .

Chaired by Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po, the committee includes nine other members, all officials.