Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat - embroiled in a scandal in September over reports that he failed to declare a series of property transactions - will seek re-election as a village representative of Lung Kwu Tan in Tuen Mun after all. The kuk chief made the decision to defend the leadership post of his home village, which he has held for five decades, despite earlier indications he was considering retirement. Lau, also an executive councillor, filed as a candidate yesterday as the two-week nomination period ended for village-representative elections in the New Territories. Kent Lau Tung-hoi and Lau Kwok-ming, both merchants, filed candidacy on November 13 for the two positions as indigenous-inhabitant representatives in the village, which has 503 registered voters. The seats are currently held by Lau Wong-fat and Lau Wai-ping, who also filed candidacy yesterday. Lau Wong-fat said he decided to seek re-election because of encouragement by fellow villagers. 'I can't let them down. I always do the appropriate thing at the appropriate time.' Asked whether he was confident of defending his seat, Lau Wong-fat said: 'Of course I am confident about winning in the election. Otherwise I wouldn't seek re-election.' The contest is one of the village-representative elections in the New Territories, in which 789 indigenous-inhabitant representative seats and 695 resident representative seats are open. A total of 1,775 people have filed as candidates, 1,020 for indigenous-inhabitant seats and 755 for resident seats. In the 2007 elections, 1,656 nominations were received. A total of 182,702 eligible voters are entitled to vote in the polls, which will be staggered over the first four Sundays in January. Lau has faced questions about his declarations of interest since September 27, when a newspaper reported that he failed to declare the purchase of three houses in Yuen Long in April and 16 flats in Yoho Midtown in February through Carofaith Investment. He holds a 40 per cent stake in the company. Another company controlled by his son, Kenneth Lau Ip-keung, and his daughter-in-law bought eight flats, also in Yoho Midtown, with Lau Wong-fat's company on the day the government announced a series of measures to cool property prices. His son sold three of the properties before the transactions were completed, making a profit of HK$800,000. Discrepancies between his company ownership declarations to the Executive Council and Legislative Council also raised doubts. He later amended these declarations. Two days after further reports that Lau had failed to declare ownership of 70 lots of farmland, Exco published a new register of interests. Two weeks ago, the Independent Commission Against Corruption dismissed a complaint over the case and the Chief Executive's Office told legislators on November 15 that the omissions were a breach of Exco guidelines but did not constitute a direct conflict of interest. Lau told a Chinese-language newspaper two weeks ago that he was considering retirement.