• Wed
  • Nov 19, 2014
  • Updated: 8:49pm
Jimmy Lai
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Pan-democrat lawmakers could face probe over donations from media mogul Jimmy Lai

Pro-Beijing group calls on Legco to investigate millions of dollars given to five lawmakers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 July, 2014, 4:57am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 July, 2014, 12:11pm
 

Five pro-democracy lawmakers accused of secretly accepting millions of dollars in donations from media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying may face official investigations.

This follows leaks of about 900 confidential files concerning business and personal affairs of the Apple Daily founder as well as his political donations. The leak has been slammed by pan-democrats as a smear campaign.

A Beijing-loyalist group yesterday asked Legco's committee on members' interests to look into the matter.

A member of a "lawmaker integrity" concern group said it had filed a report to the Inland Revenue Department and would hand another to the Independent Commission Against Corruption over donations of more than HK$10 million that Lai allegedly paid to pan-democratic parties and lawmakers.

"An inquiry by the Legco committee, we believe, could help clarify whether the lawmakers' non-disclosure constituted any conflict of interests," said Wong Kwok-kin, of the Federation of Trade Unions.

Legco rules require lawmakers to disclose "material benefits" from a single source where the total value exceeds 5 per cent of their annual remuneration, or one-off benefits over HK$10,000. As there is no political party law, there are no rules covering donations to groups.

Two of the lawmakers - the Civic Party's Claudia Mo Man-ching and the Democratic Party's James To Kun-sun - rejected claims they had received donations that were made in an e-mail sent from an unknown source to media this week.

But their stance seemed to contradict Lai's remarks on Apple's online talk show Hammer Out on Tuesday when he apparently agreed that he paid them "for electioneering".

Radical "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung and the Civic Party's Alan Leong Kah-kit - shown to have received HK$500,000 and HK$300,000 respectively - have said they did so on behalf of two pan-democratic groups.

The Labour Party's Lee Cheuk-yan, shown to have been paid HK$500,000 last year, was overseas and could not be reached for comment. None of the lawmakers disclosed the sums as required by Legco rules.

Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said relevant matters would be handled by the members' interests committee of which she was vice-chairwoman. She added the reports seemed to be smear tactics.

An Inland Revenue spokeswoman declined to say if the lawmakers had committed any offence.

Pro-government protesters condemned Lai at Apple Daily's headquarters yesterday.

Additional reporting by Brian Yap and Emily Tsang

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This article is now closed to comments

SeiMaiSei
Well, the "democrats" are always demanding enquiries into everybody else and their actions, why should they not be investigated? And Emily Lau and her Members Interest's Committee really give one confidence.
nkthean
We have several issues here, that warrant an investigation :
- Claudia Mo and James To indicated they have not received any donations, so either they are lying (in which case, they should be booted from Legco) or Jimmy Lai is falsifying claims of bogus donations,
- nothing wrong with these donations but are these donations declared to the rightful authorities ?
- did Jimmy Lai actually made these donations or he is just the frontman to do these on behalf of foreign individuals or entities ? is there money going from outside to Jimmy Lai ?
- to give these donations to deserving politicians who are contributing to well being of Hong Kong is alright, but the choice of doing it for Long Hair and Lee Cheuk Yan, two of the most disruptive politicians to the Hong Kong, speaks of the intent of the contributor, which is to cause as much disruption to Hong Kong as possible, but on whose behalf (his own, as part of the Taiwan Nationalist cause or his CIA friends) ?
daily
I think most people had suspected the Pan-Dems were supported from 'invisible" sources of money that they were not willing to disclose and finally it's now out in the open................of course this warrants investigation from the IRD and ICAC............Only an idiot like Alan Leong would think the public is stupid enough to believe that he received the money "on behalf" of his party........If the money was for his party, it could have went straight there instead of his pocket first...............What a BIG Liar and crook!
icsl
The young activist should open their eyes and see the ugly side of politics.
These hypocrites use students as shields and "universal suffrage" as an excuse to influence the innocent but emotional young ones to fight for their personal-interest.
Through Jimmy Lai, the master-mind behind the scene pays these hypocrites to arouse discontent among our society. Why? Because China is getting stronger while certain country is weakening. They will do whatever they can to damage our economy.
It is clear as water. Stop being a puppet!
Emily Lau has not accepted donation, so what? If this is wrong, no one should get credit for not doing it. Complementing her on this?? Where's the logic??
Emily is no different than those hypocrites. She made unilateral announcement on OC schedule without consulting the actual organizer. Why? She aimed to steal the leading role from the organizer. People who play nasty strategies for self-interest are not trust worthy.
ngsw
A bunch of hypocrites mudding in the cesspit of politics, each fighting for their interest. HK's interest?
whymak
Even if Ms. Lau is not on the take from Lai Chee Ying, we must question why she consorted with former Taiwan president, Lee Teng H-ui, who always upholds Japanese rights in Taiwan or PRC territorial disputes with Japan. By also advocating Taiwan independence, he is likely a Japanese mole planted inside Kuomintang. This is why Beijing set the prerequisite for HK CE candidacy as someone who "loves" China.
The word love is taken here to mean one above suspicion of subversion and not a brainwashed Manchurian candidate like Anson Chan, Martin Lee and Emily Lau.
What's is wrong with that?
ubifrancehk
I think those "pro government" protesters should be investigated for accepting hand outs from the DAB and other pro-government organizations.
dynamco
"As there is no political party law, there are no rules covering donations to groups"
therein lies the problem
People need to know who are pulling the puppet strings for their own benefit & against the interests of the HK public
Political party funding needs to be made public as it is overseas.
Who funds the DAB puppets ? North Korea , landmine manufacturers , China Govt , foreign Govts?
Who funds the functional constituency puppets? property tycoons, tobacco companies, bio diesel suppliers, airlines?
asiaseen
When are the pre-Beijing parties going to come clean about who is paying their bills?
hkqx
We have too short-term memory. Next media had successfully accused Mr Ching[sp?] a Legco member to accept money in 2001. This time table has turned the other way with multiple Legco members.

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