Community & Education Hong Kong Politics & Protest

CY Leung re-appoints lawmaker Holden Chow to equality watchdog amid UGL probe scandal

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has re-appointed lawmaker and lawyer Holden Chow to the Equal Opportunities Commission amid a scandal involving the pair.

Chow, an incumbent member of the watchdog, will remain on the committee for two more years.

Holden Chow.

Holden Chow. File photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

The announcement came on Thursday, four days after Chow was found to have allowed Leung Chun-ying to edit his document, altering the scope of a legislative investigation into a HK$50 million payment the chief executive received from Australian firm UGL.

Chow resigned from the committee on Friday, though he insisted that he did not do anything in breach of rules or the law. He also denied attempting to cover up anything, on the basis that he did not conceal the changes made by Leung to his document.

He apologised earlier for the way he handled the matter, citing a lack of political sensitivity. Critics have slammed the lawmaker for refusing to own up to his mistake and failing to uphold the principle of separation of powers.

LegCo select committee

Some of CY Leung’s edits in the document. Photo: HKFP.

In response to public uproar over the scandal, Leung admitted having approached Chow, but said he has the right to express his views. The chief executive criticised lawmakers for breaking rules to expose the matter to the public.

Membership

Besides Chow, eight other incumbent members have also been re-appointed by Leung, including pro-democracy lawmaker Joseph Lee Kok-long and Juan Leung Chung-yan of the pro-Beijing Federation of Trade Unions.

The remaining six of the 15 seats will be occupied by new faces, including Maisy Ho Chiu-ha, daughter of business magnate Stanley Ho and executive director of Shun Tak Holdings.

Another new incoming member is Rizwan Ullah, head of the Communications and Public Affairs Division of Delia Memorial School. Ullah was among 16 ethnic minority individuals recommended by think tank Zubin Foundation last year to the government for consideration for advisory positions in public bodies.

carrie lam Shalini Mahtani zubin foundation

The Zubin Foundation’s “diversity list” launch event last year. Photo: GovHK.

The other four new members are:

  • Cecilia Chan Lai-wan, social work professor at the University of Hong Kong
  • Andy Chiu Man-chung, associate professor of law at the Hong Kong Shue Yan University
  • Mohan Datwani, founder of Koo and Partners and the Global Partner of Paul Hastings
  • Henry Shie Wai-hung, executive director of Hiu Kwong Nursing Services

Established in 1996, the Equal Opportunities Commission is a statutory body tasked with implementing anti-discrimination laws, such as the Sex Discrimination Ordinance and the Race Discrimination Ordinance.

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CY Leung re-appoints lawmaker Holden Chow to equality watchdog amid UGL probe scandal