Hong Kong lawmaker denies conflict in lead drinking water scare
A pro-Beijing lawmaker has dismissed conflict-of-interest allegations involving her husband in the lead water controversy as "political smearing".
Media reports criticised Ann Chiang Lai-wan and husband Raymond Leung Hai-ming, an independent non-executive director of China State Construction - the contractor involved in pipe repairs at Kai Ching Estate, where high lead levels were found in drinking water.
Chiang, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said: "There is no question of him having covered up the issue.
"He did not know of the news until I told him. Now there are comments portraying him as the sole proprietor of the company. One can't help wonder if it is related to the coming elections.
"There is no question of me having a conflict of interest and it will not affect me, as a councillor, following up on the issue."
Chiang, who represents the Kowloon West constituency, initially accused a rival - Democrat Helena Wong Pik-wan, of the same constituency - of amplifying and politicising the issue.
Later, however, Chiang's party joined other critics to press the government for prompt action as the water scare grew to include other estates in Kwai Chung, Sham Shui Po, Sha Tin and Tuen Mun following disclosure that the same plumber, from a sub-contractor of China State Construction, was responsible for pipes in these estates.
Her party is now collecting samples from 50 public housing estates for tests.
Leung, appointed as an independent non-executive director of China State Construction in 2005, is also an independent non-executive director of Elec and Eltek International. He is chairman and chief executive of C and L Holdings, which engages in investment and dispute resolution.
The Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood suspected substandard materials had been used and yesterday reported it to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.