Donald Tsang Yam-kuen admitted yesterday he had intervened in an application for land-use change by a property giant two years ago, but maintained it was part of normal government operations. He also denied that the subsequent appointment of his brother, Tsang Yam-pui, by an affiliate of New World Development, was related to the application. But Democratic lawmakers were unconvinced and vowed to press the chief executive for further explanation to determine whether he flouted internal procedures to help the property giant. The government warned New World Development in 2001 about unauthorised land-use changes after it turned part of its car park at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai into a showroom for selling vehicles. In September, three months after the group submitted a formal application to the Town Planning Board for land-use change, Mr Tsang - who was then chief secretary - wrote to various departments expressing his support for the change. The application was approved in October. The Chief Executive's Office explained yesterday that Mr Tsang had received feedback from a member of the public during a social event in 2003. Without identifying the person, a spokesman at the office said the showroom was mentioned as an example of how red tape made business difficult. The spokesman confirmed Mr Tsang had pursued the matter with departments directly. He said he had acted 'in response to people's aspirations'. 'It helps the efficiency and the monitoring of department operations by the chief secretary. This is normal government operation.' He said in the past Mr Tsang had liaised directly with departments in other cases after getting feedback from the business community. Legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah, of the Article 45 Concern Group, said Mr Tsang should have referred the case to the Economic and Employment Council, saying it was a more appropriate forum for business issues. Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat said Mr Tsang should also explain why his brother was recruited by the group's affiliate, NWS Holdings, within a year. The spokesman at Mr Tsang's office said: 'The appointment of former police commissioner Tsang Yam-pui by New World group is not linked to the application.' For its part, NWS Holdings denied ever approaching the former chief secretary for help. 'The group has neither involved Mr Tsang Yam-kuen nor Tsang Yam-pui in the application,' Maria Cheung, senior corporate communications manager, said yesterday. In a separate statement, Tsang Yam-pui, executive director of NWS Holding, said: 'I never knew about the application ... let alone being involved in it.'