Mak Chai-kwong, born in 1950, began his civil service career in Hong Kong in 1976. He held a series of high-ranking government engineering jobs. Mak was appointed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying as the Secretary for Development in July 2012, but was soon forced to resign when allegation surfaced that he was involved in a housing subsidy fraud more than 20 years ago. He was formally charged with cheating on government rent allowances in October 2012.
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The conviction of two top officials in connection with a housing allowance scam has understandably sent shock waves across the Hong Kong civil service.The fraud dates back to 1985, with the pair applying for subsidy to rent each other's flat while covering up the fact for years that they were the owners.
The lawyer representing a former minister accused of defrauding the government has insisted his client was not trying to take unfair advantage of a housing scheme for civil servants.
Former secretary for the civil service Joseph Wong Wing-ping was called by former development minister Mak Chai-kwong to testify in a housing allowance fraud trial involving Mak and assistant highways director Tsang King-man.
A judge ruled yesterday that former development minister Mak Chai-kwong and assistant highways director Tsang King-man had a case to answer in their housing subsidy fraud trial.
Agnes Hai Chui-kuen told the District Court she did not meet Mak and his wife Wong Lai-king all along, from viewing the property to signing the sales and purchase agreement.
Assistant highways director Tsang King-man prepared a declaration of trust to protect the interests of former development minister Mak Chai-kwong in a flat swap the two undertook, a court heard yesterday.
Former development minister Mak Chai-kwong denied allegations that he had made a premeditated arrangement with assistant highways director Tsang King-man to cross-lease their flats in which they had a financial interest, a court heard yesterday.
Assistant highways director Tsang King-man handled the proceedings when his sister rented a North Point flat that is now at the centre of a trial over housing fraud involving former development minister Mak Chai-kwong, a court heard yesterday.
Former development secretary Mak Chai-kwong and assistant highways director Tsang King-man appeared in the District Court yesterday on the first day of their fraud trial, with the prosecution detailing how they allegedly abused a civil service housing allowance scheme.
Former development minister Mak Chai-kwong yesterday began a part-time lecturing stint at his alma mater, the University of Hong Kong. He is co-teaching the Analysis, Modelling and Project Appraisal in Transportation course, which is part of the Master of Arts in Transport Policy and Planning degree.