A candidate in the accountancy functional constituency paid some of the expenses of 15 candidates running for a seat on the Election Committee last month. Edward Chow Kwong-fai gave $1,375 to each of the candidates, expense documents submitted to the Registration and Electoral Office showed. The money covered the cost of printing and posting copies of a thank-you letter from the candidates to voters in the accountancy sub-sector. The letter was delivered on July 14, a week after the sub-sector election. Candidates who received Mr Chow's money included executive councillor Chung Shui-ming and Stephen Fan Sheung-tak, husband of former Legco president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai. Mr Chow mounted a joint campaign with the candidates in the Election Committee poll. They were among 40 candidates bidding for 20 seats for the accountancy sub-sector of the 800-member Election Committee, which will elect six legislators next month. Mr Chow won a seat. Mr Chow said he paid because he wanted to send questionnaires to members of the sector under his own name. 'The thank-you letter was just as an attachment for members. My intention was to collect my accountants' opinions on the upcoming election, and it would be appropriate for me to bear the cost.' Ma Ngok, an assistant social science professor at the University of Science and Technology, said Mr Chow had not broken the regulation but said it would have been wiser for him to share the expenditure 'because the time of the two elections was very close'. Expense returns also revealed that nine property developers received support from the Real Estate Developers' Association in their bid for seats in the real estate and construction sub-sector. They include Cheung Kong (Holdings) chairman Li Ka-shing, Sun Hung Kai Properties' head Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong, Henderson Land chairman Lee Shau-kee, and Stanley Ho Hung-sun, the Macau gambling mogul who is chairman of the association. Each spent $3,475 on the campaign, including printing election advertisements and posting pamphlets, and each received $313.80 from the association. Mr Li's younger son, Richard Li Tzar-kar, head of Internet company Pacific Century CyberWorks, spent $64,038 on his campaign, including $42,682 on hiring Augustine Chui Kam, a former senior civil servant who now works at CyberWorks. He was Mr Li's election assistant.