Legislative Council elections 2016

Hong Kong IT lawmaker accuses opponent of failing to declare company dealings with government

Charles Mok puts Eric Yeung Chuen-sing on defensive during election forum

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2016, 1:15pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2016, 11:31pm

An IT businessman running for the Legislative Council says he will withdraw from his company if elected after he faced queries of having potential conflicts of interests with his firm doing business with the government.

Eric Yeung Chuen-sing, an ­independent candidate backed by pro-establishment forces to unseat pan-democrat incumbent Charles Mok in the Legco polls next month, was forced to make the announcement at a forum on Tuesday as Mok grilled him.

The information technology sector seat is one of the most ­keenly contested between the two camps, and it has seen the greatest increase in voters among all the trade-based functional seats in the legislature, from 6,687 in the last election to 12,046 this year.

“You have four projects with the government ... which are worth more than HK$10 million,” Mok said. “Why don’t you sell your company shares to avoid possible conflicts of interest? Did you declare the dealings?”

Mok accused Yeung of ­“concealing” the deals from the Advisory Committee on Innovation and Technology, of which Yeung is a member.

Mok also urged Yeung to sell his company because “a lawmaker will have access to information concerning many upcoming government projects”.

Yeung, a deputy from ­Guangzhou’s Baiyun district to the ­Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, ­clarified it was FlexSystem – a ­parent company of his software management firm FlexWorkflow – that had a business relationship with the government.

But he also serves as a product director of the parent company, according to his LinkedIn page.

“I did declare to the advisory committee my companies, but as to what businesses they do, the ­information is in the public ­domain,” he said.

Yeung told the Post later he had reported to the committee that his firm had done business with the government.

According to the website of the office of the government’s chief information officer, FlexSystem has been awarded four service contracts by the police and ­Correctional Services Department.

When urged by Mok to quit his company to clear doubts, Yeung said: “If elected, I would ­withdraw [from my company].”

A spokeswoman for the ­Innovation and Technology ­Bureau said a committee member should make full disclosure of their interests in the event of a potential conflict of interest.