Hong Kong Politics & Protest

No punishment for lawmaker Michael Tien after failing to declare interests

Lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun will face no punishment after admitting his failure to declare to the Legislative Council his position as director of an offshore company. Legco’s Committee on Members’ interests presented a report on the matter to the legislature on Wednesday.

Michael Tien Puk-sun. File Photo: Apple Daily.

Michael Tien Puk-sun. File Photo: Apple Daily.

Tien, vice-chairman of the New People’s Party, was found to be a director of offshore company Glorious Pacific Limited along with his wife. The Panama Papers, leaked in April, revealed their roles at the company, which was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Pro-democracy lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki of the Civic Party, along with two district councillors, previously filed a complaint to the Legislative Council.

Tien owns 50 per cent of shares in the company, while lawmakers are required to declare their positions if they own more than one per cent. In the report, the committee said that “there is no information” to show that Tien’s failure to register “was a deliberate act or involved any conflict of interests with his role as a LegCo Member,” and said that no punishment would be given.

See also: Panama Papers: Former Chief Sec. Henry Tang allegedly failed to declare offshore company

The committee also decided that similar charges involving Lau Wong-fat, representing the Heung Yee Kuk constituency, did not hold as there was insufficient evidence to prove that he failed to declare his directorship of three offshore companies.

Lau Wong-fat.

Lau Wong-fat. File Photo: Apple Daily.

Lau was listed in the Panama Papers as a director of N.T. Development Ltd. in July 2011. He also holds shares in the company. Lau was also a director and shareholder of two other companies, Get Nice Holdings Limited as well as Wing Tung Yick Enterprises Limited.

Lau told the committee that he was not a remunerated director of any of the three companies during the relevant period, from April 2009 to April 2016. The committee said that complainants provided “no details” to substantiate their allegation and that there was an “absence of any information contradicting [Lau]’s response.”

No punishment for lawmaker Michael Tien after failing to declare interests