Jimmy Lai

Jimmy Lai

'I will clear my name': Lawmaker Claudia Mo submits files disputing claims of Jimmy Lai payments

Lawmaker submits records to prove she got no cash from tycoon, let alone failed to declare it

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 August, 2014, 4:25am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 August, 2014, 6:03pm

Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching says she is ready to give a Legislative Council committee all the documents necessary to prove she did not receive a HK$500,000 personal donation from media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying during the Legco election in September 2012.

"Firstly, I did not receive any personal donation from Jimmy Lai during the 2012 election," Mo said yesterday. "Secondly, I have [already] declared exactly what I received for campaign funding."

Legco candidates are required to declare the sums raised for their election campaigns and disclose the source of any donation over HK$1,000.

Mo submitted records of her personal income for the financial year starting April 2012 and bank transfers related to campaign funds to the Legco Committee on Members' Interests yesterday. More documents could be provided upon request, she said.

She said that her campaign was mostly funded by a HK$540,000 donation from the Civic Party and HK$500,000 from her husband, Philip Bowring, a columnist for the South China Morning Post.

Mo showed reporters bank transaction records displaying her husband's contribution. She added that Bowring had not taken any money from a third party on her behalf.

She declined to comment on whether Lai had helped fund her party. "The Civic Party does not disclose the identity of donors, nor does it accept donations with strings attached," she said.

Emails leaked this week - which have not been verified - suggested that Apple Daily owner Lai gave Mo and the Democratic Party's James To Kun-sun HK$500,000 each in 2012 via his aide Mark Simon. To also denies the allegation.

Mo and To were among five pan-democrat lawmakers from whom the Legco committee had already sought explanations about alleged donations from Lai before it decides whether to launch an investigation.

It came after about 900 files concerning Lai's political donations were leaked to the media last month. Police are investigating suspected computer hacking.

The other three lawmakers involved are: Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan, League of Social Democrats chairman "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung and Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit. None of them admit to breaching any rules.