A number of pro-Beijing veteran politicians have criticised Leung Chun-ying and legislator Holden Chow Ho-ding, after the chief executive was found to have edited the lawmaker’s documents relating to an investigation he was facing.
Last Monday, Chow submitted a document on the Legislative Council committee investigation into Australian firm UGL’s HK$50 million payout to Leung in 2012-13. The document’s edit history showed that it was edited by Leung, prompting Chow to resign from the select committee.
On Monday, former lawmaker Selina Chow of the pro-business Liberal Party elaborated on her earlier criticisms of Leung, in which she said he was “blatantly interfering” in the legislature and “calling wrong right.”
She wrote on Facebook that the chief executive was avoiding three key questions: Whether he accepted HK$50 million from UGL without disclosing the payout, whether he breached any procedures by not disclosing the payment, and whether he has any explanation for non-disclosure.
“Unfortunately, Hongkongers can see… that he is pointing the finger at people who are asking these questions on behalf of the public,” she wrote. “This makes people feel increasingly repulsed, and have deeper doubts about him.”
The chief executive has made four public statements within six days targeting pro-democracy lawmaker Kenneth Leung, who has been asking the Inland Revenue Department to investigate the payment controversy.
Not illegal but inappropriate
As the chairman of the legislature’s select committee investigating the payout, pro-Beijing lawmaker Paul Tse told RTHK on Monday that he did not wish to see Kenneth Leung resign from the committee, following in the footsteps of Holden Chow.
He said that the exchanges between Chow and the chief executive were not illegal, but were inappropriate. He added that both parties were responsible for the scandal.
Another former pro-Beijing legislator, Chan Yuen-han, also criticised Holden Chow in her Monday column in local paper AM730.
Chan, from the Federation of Trade Unions, wrote that veteran politicians succeed not because they are intelligent, tight-lipped, good at public relations stunts or willing to resign and apologise – but because they have consistent ideas.
“Unfortunately, I can’t see any trace of ideas with him. He says, writes and does whatever others tell him to say, write or do,” she wrote. “He has no ideas and no independence.”
“If someone who loves the country and loves Hong Kong does not have any ideas… what’s the point of him being a legislator?”
Chan criticised Chow for failing to uphold his values as a lawyer by profession: “If professionals in the legal sector no longer have the belief in safeguarding fairness and lack of bias, they will be fiercely criticised.”
‘Why don’t we say his name?’
Attending a dinner hosted by the Hong Kong Journalists’ Association last Friday, defeated chief executive candidates John Tsang and Woo Kwok-hing also ridiculed the scandal.
Asked by the emcee to comment on Chow, the former financial secretary replied: “Why don’t we say his name?”
The dinner attendees then shouted the final character of the legislator’s Chinese name, which resembles a Cantonese profanity.
Woo, a former judge, likened Chief Executive Leung’s actions to a defendant teaching the prosecution how to cross-examine him.
“I hope the barristers here tonight have higher standards,” he added.
Around a dozen members of the pro-democracy League of Social Democrats marched on Government House – Leung’s residence – on Sunday in protest against the chief executive’s interference in his own investigation.