‘Writer, director and actor?’: Hong Kong leader doubles down on attack against pan-democrat in UGL probe
Chief executive questions if lawmaker Kenneth Leung is orchestrating a storyline with a political agenda
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying fired yet another broadside at an opposition lawmaker on Sunday, saying that Kenneth Leung’s role in a probe into the UGL saga involving his financial dealings was “an example of how Hong Kong’s politics have deteriorated extremely”.
It was the seventh time in a week that Leung Chun-ying, whose five-year term will end in 41 days on June 30, had referred to the Legislative Council select committee’s investigation into him.
The storm erupted after it was revealed last Monday that he had discreetly engaged a pro-establishment lawmaker to amend a document on the scope and direction of the probe.
The panel was set up last year at the behest of pan-democrats after it emerged that Leung Chun-ying had received HK$50 million following UGL’s 2011 purchase of DTZ, an insolvent property company of which he was a director. Leung received the payment after his election but he did not declare it to his cabinet.
Writing on his official blog, Leung Chun-ying asked Kenneth Leung a series of 18 questions regarding the payment.
The chief executive also reiterated that the pan-democrat must quit the investigative panel over conflict of interest.
Leung Chun-ying said Kenneth Leung had made “groundless” claims that tax authorities were investigating him.
“As a professional accountant, you have never answered this in the last two years: for which payment must I pay tax, and what tax? Salary tax? Profit tax? Value-added tax? Or inheritance tax?” he wrote.
The chief executive also said of the saga: “This is an example of how Hong Kong’s politics have deteriorated extremely ... We must, both through civil and criminal procedures, stop [people] using our law enforcement agencies as a tool for attacking government officials.”
The leader reiterated that he had not been approached by any tax authorities and that he was suing Kenneth Leung for defamation.
Leung Chun-ying also questioned if Kenneth Leung wanted to be the “screenwriter, director and actor in presenting the message that the chief executive is under investigation”.
The latest salvo by the chief executive came after pro-establishment lawmaker Holden Chow Ho-ding quit the panel on Friday.
Chow had come under fire for submitting Leung Chun-ying’s amendments to the inquiry committee without raising the latter’s involvement.
Kenneth Leung could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
Meanwhile, on RTHK programme City Forum on Sunday, pro-establishment lawmaker Eunice Yung Hoi-yan from the New People’s Party said she was shocked that Chow had allowed the intervention to happen.
But she disagreed with the pan-democrats’ bid to censure and unseat Chow.
Speaking on a TVB programme on Sunday, the select committee’s chairman Paul Tse Wai-chun also said it was up to Kenneth Leung on whether he should quit the panel.