Legislative Council

Hong Kong lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung’s Legco folder snatch of confidential documents is reported to police

Development Bureau condemns and expresses “deep regret over the behaviour” of Legco members involved in incident which saw undersecretary’s folder taken

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 November, 2016, 10:37pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 November, 2016, 10:56pm

A senior Development Bureau official has asked police to investigate an incident during a Legislative Council panel meeting earlier this week in which his folder said to contain confidential information was snatched by protesting legislators.

The incident, which took place during a joint meeting of the legislature’s housing and development panels on Tuesday, saw a folder placed on a bench by the undersecretary for development, Eric Ma Siu-cheung, snatched by lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, who subsequently passed it to fellow Legco member Eddie Chu Hoi-dick.

In a statement on Thursday, the Development Bureau said Chu was given the folder “to read the confidential documents [inside] without the permission of Ma”.

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“In view of the seriousness of the incident, Ma reported the case to police,” the statement read.

A bureau spokesman condemned and expressed “deep regret over the behaviour of the two Legco members”.

The spokesman declined to elaborate on what exactly Ma had complained to the police about or what confidential information he thought had been leaked.

Leung described Ma’s move as “insane”.

“If Ma is so much concerned about confidential information being leaked, I would like to ask him if he reported to police Arup using government confidential data to help its client apply to the Town Planning Board,” he said.

He was referring to recent media reports that Arup – a consultancy firm commissioned by the government to carry out an infrastructure design study in Wang Chau in Yuen Long for a public housing project – had allegedly disclosed confidential data in a separate application to the Town Planning Board on behalf of New World Development to build a private housing project next to the Wang Chau site.

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Ma was at Tuesday’s joint panel meeting to brief lawmakers on the latest developments in the Wang Chau saga. During the meeting, Leung, unhappy with Ma’s replies, left his seat and went to grab a folder on Ma’s bench. He later passed the folder to Chu as Leung was expelled by the panel chairman for his behaviour.

Chu said: “The folder was about three inches thick. I was trying to search for information about Arup. There were some prepared replies to possible questions to be raised by lawmakers at the meeting – nothing much special.

“The folder was returned shortly afterwards. I did not see any official at the meeting much angry or unhappy ... No official seemed to treat it as a big deal. It was just a protest.”

Both Leung and Chu said they had not been approached by police.