23rd July 2013
Paul Chan’s Scandal: Chan’s Son Involves Too
Chan Refers to His Son as “My Wife’s Family”
The family of Paul Chan Mo-po, Secretary for Development, was found to have ownership of land in Kwu Tung, part of the North East New Territories Development Plan (NENTD plan). Chan has been claiming that Orient Express Holdings, the overseas holding company of the land in question, is owned by his wife Hui Po-ming and her families. However, according to a document about Orient Express Holdings, the “Hui’s families” Chan has been referring to is actually Chan’s son Jame Chan Tian-Hsing.
The Certificate of Incumbency of Orient Express Holdings dated 2011 was issued by the representative company in British Virgin Island. The document shows that the company was founded on 12th April 1994, two weeks prior to the purchase of the plots of land in Kwu Tung.
Paul Chan said on 22nd July that he has no real interest in Orient Express, the company that owns the land in Kwu Tung, and said “the company is owned by my wife (Hui Po-ming) and her families”. This implies that the company is owned by Hui’s family. However, based on the documents, Hui Po-ming, the major shareholder of Orient Express, owns 90% of the company, and the remaining 10% is owned by James Chan Tian-Hsing, Paul Chan’s son.
The document also shows that Hui Po-ming and Strategic Assets Holdings, the company that was found to own illegal subdividing flats, are the directors of the company. James Chan Tian-Hsing was appointed as a director in December 2008.
James To Kun-sun, a legislator from Democratic Party, criticised Paul Chan for not being honest about the situation. He also questioned why Chan would call his own son as “my wife’s families”. James To said, “Paul Chan said that his wife’s stake in the company was sold to her families, does that mean she actually sold her holdings to her son?” He also pointed out that CY Leung has yet to explain the declaration Paul Chan has made, and raise concerns of the reliability of such declaration.
Stephen Char Shik-ngor, former investigator at ICAC, said that Paul Chan’s wife is also Chan’s family, so even after the sale of her stake in the company there are still potential for conflict of interests. Char said that it is best for Paul Chan to avoid getting involved in work that could cause any conflict of interests. If this is not avoidable, Chan must declare his interests fully to the Chief Executive, who will decide whether Chan is suitable to handle the work in question. This incident shows that CY Leung lacks political sensitivity. Chan and Leung must disclose the relevant declaration time and details, otherwise the public concerns cannot be eased.
In light of the scandal, Civil Human Rights Front have called for a rally to demand the step down of both Paul Chan Mo-po and CY Leung on the coming Sunday (27th July), and the organiser will also invite villagers from North East New Territories to participate.
Pro-government legislators have also expressed their discontent with how Paul Chan handle the situation. Lam Tai Fai said if Chan continues to disclose partial information of the incident the people will question his credibility. Paul Tse Wai-chun does not accept Chan’s excuse of “personal matters” to refuse disclosing the details of the shareholding transfer, Tse said that even if the US president was faced with similar accusation, he would have to disclose everything including his tax bill.