• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 4:30am
Jimmy Lai
NewsHong Kong

Donation from Jimmy Lai was transferred to Labour Party this week, says Lee Cheuk-yan

A HK$1.5 million gift was not personal, Labour Party's Lee Cheuk-yan insists

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 July, 2014, 3:20pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 August, 2014, 3:31am

A lawmaker says he has transferred a media mogul's HK$500,000 donation from his personal bank account to that of his Labour Party to fund a food-waste recycling initiative.

Lee Cheuk-yan made the transfer just days ago, though he confirmed having received the money from Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying in autumn, as records leaked to the media had indicated.

Lee dismissed criticism that his belated action was intended as a "remedy" after news broke last week that he accepted donations totalling HK$1.5 million from Lai without declaring them to the Legislative Council.

He said yesterday he could not move the money sooner because the registration process for the enterprise had been delayed.

"We had thought the enterprise could be set up under the Societies Ordinance in January, but the registration was done only in June, after rounds of dealing with police," Lee told RTHK.

A police spokesman confirmed it received an application for the registration of the group, Green Initiative, in January. It was registered as a society on June 18, after organisers provided the necessary documents.

Lee said the enterprise's own bank account would not be ready for a couple of weeks.

The other HK$1 million, which Lee received from Lai just a couple of weeks ago, was moved from his account to the party's soon afterwards, Lee said. The party planned to use most of it to campaign in next year's district council elections, he said.

The party yesterday published minutes of a meeting in July last year on the creation of Green Initiative, and a bank receipt showing the transfer of HK$1.5 million, dated Tuesday.

Hundreds of files, apparently stolen from the computer of a close associate of Lai, appear to show the tycoon donated millions of dollars to pan-democratic parties and politicians.

Lee is one of five pan-democratic lawmakers accused of failing to declare Lai's donations. All five must give an explanation to Legco's committee on members' interests within two weeks, after which the committee will decide whether an inquiry is necessary.

"I received the money only on behalf of the party," Lee said. "I have not spent a cent."

Lee conceded it would have been better to transfer the HK$500,000 earlier but said he could prove that the funds were not for him personally.

Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Wong Kwok-kin said Lee's actions were unacceptable.



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This article is now closed to comments

John Adams
"Lee conceded it would have been better to transfer the HK$500,000 earlier but said he could prove that the funds were not for him personally."
Damn right it would, you nasty crook ! I bet you were hoping to hang on to it until no-one else remembered and then dip into it yourself .
And what were you doing with the money in the meantime ?
This was not $50 or even $5,000.
It was a massive HALF MILLION DOLLARS, enough for a deposit on a small apartment.
Buwahwahwah !!! (echoes of hollow laughter ring down the corridors of pig troughs)
If he thinks the cheque was not intended for him personally and is for his political party instead, he should have returned the cheque to the donor and ask the donor to write the cheque to his party instead (I assume his part has proper bank accounts???). The said political party can then transfer whatever amount that is earmarked for the social initiative. Is this not the best way to avoid conflict of interest?
Politics is just too dirty!
Good, we need a thorough spring cleaning to expose ALL of them - pro China, fence sitters and pan dems whatever.
We all know politics is never clean. But the J Lai case is more the terrible since those who received his $$$ have acted/still attempt to act holier than thou and sinless, beginning with the Zen guy who claims to speak for the Church.
The sheer hypocrisy is appalling, if not astounding.
Lee Cheuk Yan must think HKr's are just as stupid and dumb as he is, if he thinks that holding onto the funds for over a year and then transferring from personal account to the party's account now is believable...............And his claim of "legal difficulties" is just as ridiculous as the stupid antics that Long-Hair does in the Legco building.
It is completely obvious that this guy pocketed the $500,000 for what ever reason, and is now transferring out because this whole issue has leaked...............It's amazing how these low-life politicians can make claims that are totally ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a satire. All the work these demo-crooks did for Lai have to cough up the money, probably spent and now out of their own pockets.
Yeah right, contribution for party-services that didn't work out a year later, by personal checks to your name, paid in advance with no receipt, roast pork can fly too.
Don Lai, has Guido Lee Cheuk-yan dutifully carried out all of your orders he can't refuse?
Did the party leaders know about these donations-in-personal-accounts? If not, time to do some house-keeping and expel the legislators from the parties! I dare you.
I only can say , hahaha what a joke
What a story teller this guy Lee is, and his nose keeps on growing longer and longer with each spin. I hope that other pan-democrats can come out with better stories....
As a reader said below, he is expected to declare if the money is for himself. Lee is now saying that he did not make a declaration because the money for never for himself. He was only parking the money until the money can be transferred to the social initiative. The issue is that he has created an enormous 'TRUST" problem. He could have asked the donor to write the cheque to his political party instead of to himself.
Now, it looks too much like a cover up. Politics is dirty!!!



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