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CY Leung UGL payment saga

Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying should answer Legco’s questions over UGL saga, says committee chairman

Paul Tse also defends Kenneth Leung’s position on the panel, despite chief executive’s claim of conflict of interest

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 May, 2017, 11:55am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 May, 2017, 1:06pm

Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying should testify before the legislature if he wants to argue his case over cash he took from an Australian company, said the head of the committee looking into the payments.

Paul Tse Wai-chun, chairman of the Legislative Council’s select committee looking into the UGL saga, said he would be disappointed if Leung were reluctant to do that.

Everything you need to know about CY Leung’s HK$50 million UGL deal

He also said it was “inappropriate” for Leung to have contacted a pro-government lawmaker when the investigation was ongoing.

“When the needs arise, I hope he has the courage and sees the responsibility to provide evidence to the committee,” Tse told an RTHK programme on Monday.

The controversy erupted after it transpired last week that Leung had quietly asked pro-government legislator Holden Chow Ho-ding to amend a document on the scope and direction of the legislature’s investigation.

The investigation panel was set up last year at the behest of pan-democrats. In 2014 it emerged that Leung had received HK$50 million following UGL’s 2011 purchase of DTZ, an insolvent property company of which he was a director.

Leung received that payment after his election but did not declare it to his cabinet.

Chow has resigned from the committee, while Leung has insisted that as the subject of the investigation he has the “complete right” to express his views to Legco. The chief executive has fired repeated broadsides at pan-democratic legislator Kenneth Leung, saying the lawmaker should quit the committee because of a conflict of interest.

Kenneth Leung has asked the commissioner of inland revenue to look into the UGL saga, the chief executive said earlier.

On Monday, Tse said it was inappropriate that Chow, as vice-chairman of the committee, contacted Leung Chun-ying. Tse also said the chief executive should have made his arguments to Legco through the secretariat, if he had anything to say.

He said every member of the committee had made comments on the UGL saga, not just Kenneth Leung, and that it would have been impossible to form the committee if only those who had not made their thoughts heard on the saga could join.

Separately, the Liberal Party’s honorary chairwoman Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee criticised Leung Chun-ying for, as she saw it, evading questions on the UGL saga.

“Is Chief Executive Leung trying to leave an impression of him that Hong Kong people will never forget before he leaves us?” Chow wrote on her Facebook page on Monday.

Leung’s term will end by the end of next month.