Support HK government, charity urged

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 February, 2008, 12:00am

An official of the central government's liaison office has called on a group founded by second- and third-generation tycoons in Hong Kong to fully support the special administrative region government.

Deputy director Li Gang was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Centum Charitas Foundation, chaired by Henderson Land Development vice-chairman Peter Lee Ka-kit.

Mr Li praised members of the foundation as pragmatists and enthusiasts who could contribute to the development of Hong Kong and China as a whole.

'As the strongest and most capable foundation, I hope you will fully support the Hong Kong SAR government's administration in accordance with the law, support 'one country, two systems', and research on the Basic Law,' Mr Li said.

'I hope you can voice your views and contribute to policies.'

However, Mr Lee reiterated that the foundation was a charity and would stay away from politics. If any member stood in a Legislative Council or district council election, the foundation would advise him to quit. 'If anyone wishes to abuse our foundation as a platform to canvass, we will unanimously oppose it,' he said.

However, candidacy in National People's Congress elections and appointments to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference would not conflict with its membership, because these did not involve 'squabbles over ballots', Mr Lee said.

Of its 43 founding members, 11 are delegates to the national or regional CPPCCs; Mr Lee was recently reappointed to the national one.

The foundation's work will kick off with an offer to help workers stranded at Guangzhou railway station after heavy snowfalls in Hunan and Hubei provinces. Mr Lee said it was liaising with Guangzhou railway officials to provide food, quilts and financial aid.

The foundation had also become a partner organisation with the government's Child Development Fund, Mr Lee announced.