The long-awaited reply late last month from Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying over the saga of his trellis has led to more questions than answers. Apart from highlighting his "bad memory" by mixing up which trellis was at which of his two conjoined houses on The Peak, Leung has drawn attention to another illegal structure - an unauthorised extension of 320 square feet in his basement, used as a storage area Leung said he had only discovered the room was unauthorised when he was about to declare his bid for the chief executive race. As you may recall, during the campaign, Leung was quick to attack his rival Henry Tang Ying-yen over Tang's own illegal basement. When media asked Leung about any illegal structures of his own, he failed to mention any. In June the Buildings Department inspected Leung's home and came across a brick wall in the basement that did not match the original plans. Inspectors asked for more information, but Leung waited five months to reply. With his "bad memory", perhaps the chief executive has already forgotten the pledge of an "open and candid" leadership he has repeatedly made since taking office in July. The whole government appears on the brink of an integrity crisis, with politicians looking at a motion of no confidence. As political analysts have noted, the 14-page written explanation Leung's office issued to the public on Friday is loaded with technical details and does little to dispel the suspicion that the chief executive has not been honest. Giving straight answers to the public is the only way Leung can maintain the authority to govern. If he is wrong about a relatively harmless trellis, one wonders how forthright he will be with the public about Beijing's intentions for Hong Kong. Some questions must still be addressed: did he seal the extended space before becoming a chief executive candidate in order to avoid it becoming a political liability? Did he try to hide the illegal space by sealing it up, rather than solving the matter properly with the department's approval? Why did Leung say the incident was the first time he had dealt with unauthorised structures when he had removed at least one in a previous home in Stanley 12 years ago? Some reported that the department had favoured Leung, given it acted more quickly in Tang's case. Tang admitted the existence of the structure and there is evidence he knowingly broke building rules, which could give rise to criminal charges. But Leung would have to prove the illegal space was left by the previous owner and make a plan to rectify the problem. He will only be taken to court if he ignores the department's demolition order.