A lawmaker who helped a sister-in-law of Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen get compensation for losses on Lehman Brothers minibonds said yesterday his actions were being politicised and the disclosure of them was malicious. Abraham Razack helped Lam Suk-jing get back 60 per cent of her investment three months before most other minibond investors were made an offer. Razack said that was because Lam, who is married to Norman Tsang Yam-huen, was willing to accept the first offer made by the bank that sold her the minibonds. Donald Tsang denied knowledge of Razack's help for his sister-in-law. The lawmaker suspects the event is being distorted for political capital. 'The whole thing has been politicised and there is some malice in it. They did not even obtain a better deal,' said Razack, who represents the real estate and construction sector in the Legislative Council. He noted that the allegations came on the heels of claims that Donald Tsang should have declared an interest before announcing in his policy address that HK$100 coupons would be given to 2.4 million households to buy energy-efficient light bulbs. Tsang's critics said his elder son's father-in-law controlled a major local distributor of Philips light bulbs (Philips dominates the market for energy-efficient bulbs). Peter Chan Kwong-yue, chairman of the Alliance of Lehman Brothers Victims, said several minibond investors had told him of their frustration that someone had apparently received preferential treatment because they are related to the chief executive. Sixteen banks sold 43,000 investors HK$15.7 billion in minibonds issued or backed by Lehman Brothers. The products - which, despite their name, are not corporate bonds but complex, credit-linked derivatives - lost most or all of their value when the US investment bank collapsed in the global credit crunch. The city's financial and securities regulators announced on July 22 that they had brokered a deal for the banks to buy back minibonds at 60 to 70 per cent of their face value. However, the Democratic Party said as early as December that it had helped more than 60 Lehman investors get compensation from 14 banks. Some of these got full refunds plus accrued interest. Chan said: 'Before July 22, very few people were able to secure compensation from the banks. The whole incident leaves a very bad taste in the mouth. It seems that having political connections gets you preferential treatment. The chief executive, his brother, his wife and [Razack] should all give a clear account of how this happened.' Donald Tsang issued a statement late on Friday saying he had been made aware around Lunar New Year that Lam and his brother had bought minibonds but that he had not previously been aware that Razack had helped Lam secure compensation. Neither Lam, his brother Norman nor any other relatives had asked him to intervene, the statement said. Norman Tsang issued a statement confirming Razack had helped in obtaining the return in April of 'not more than 60 per cent' of their initial investment. He said Lam had sought Razack's help because he had known the lawmaker since the 1990s, when they were both in Canada. Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen, asked about the new revelation, said: 'Regarding the fact [Donald Tsang] had a relative who purchased Lehman products - I remember several months ago he mentioned it in a government internal meeting, but we did not discuss it formally. He said he did not know the details and he was not asked to help.' Razack said he had helped the couple the same way he would help anyone else who asked him for assistance. 'In this case, all I did was advise them to accept the offer. They accepted, and didn't ask for more when others were still asking for more,' he said. The couple had not wanted to kick up a fuss. Fellow lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah, of the Civic Party, said there was no reason to doubt Donald Tsang's assertion that he did not interfere. But the public's reaction to news of the matter showed 'public confidence in the chief executive is extremely low'. Democratic Party lawmaker Lee Wing-tat noted that Tsang had mentioned his interest in the issue to other officials. 'Was that a disclosure of interest? If so, why was he sensitive enough to disclose his interest in this case, but failed to disclose his family interest in the light bulb policy? This only makes the light bulb policy even more suspicious,' he said. Another lawmaker, Starry Lee Wai-king, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said that on the face of it, there was nothing suspicious about the early resolution of the couple's claim for compensation. 'My understanding is that the banks were already negotiating with investors before the government package was announced ... I think this is all just because it's a very politically sensitive time for the chief executive,' she said. Since the buy-back was announced, more than 24,000 investors have accepted it. On Friday, one who has not taken the offer sought a judicial review of the decisions by the Securities and Futures Commission and Monetary Authority, as part of the buy-back deal, to stop investigating investor complaints against banks and punishing wrongdoing. Norman Tsang, a businessman, was awarded the British Columbia New Canadian Entrepreneur Award in 2007.