The House News
20th August 2013
Pan-Democrats and Pro-Establishment Lawmakers Enjoy Break in France Sponsored by Cathay Pacific
A number of violent incidents were reported during Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (CY Leung)’s town hall meeting held in Tin Shui Wai early this month. However, the Police Force has yet to prosecute all of the suspects (despite all the video evidence). A number of pan-democrats went to Kwun Tong last Sunday when CY Leung went for another town hall meeting and protested by standing in silence. However, the leader and influential figures of the pan-democrats did not present to join their allies. Albert Ho Chun-yan and James To Kun-sun, two of the key figures of Democratic Party, flew to France last Friday morning (16th August) as the guests of Cathay Pacific’s special guests for an “aircraft receiving” event. The lawmakers are scheduled to return to Hong Kong on 21st August.
Besides Ho and To, lawmakers who joint the trip include: Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong, Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong’s Ip Kwok-him and Elizabeth Quat, Liberal Party’s Felix Chung Kwok-pan and Ma Fung-Kwok and Executive Councillor Cheng Yiu-tong. They were all invited by Cathay Pacific to attend an Airbus event in South of France and are scheduled to return to Hong Kong by the latest aircraft. All expenses including travel, accommodation and dining are paid by the airline. The majority of them, including Albert Ho and James To have brought their families with them.
Based on their itinerary, this trip focuses on sightseeing rather than factory visit:
16th August – Depart from Hong Kong vis Cathay Pacific flight
17th August – Arrives Paris, hotel check in, rest, leisure activities, dinner
18th August – Flight to Toulouse, dinner
19th August – Briefing by Airbus and Cathay Pacific, sightseeing at Carcassonne, official dinner arranged by Airbus
20th August – visit Airbus’ factory, buffett lunch, Airbus flight back to Hong Kong
21th August – Arries at Hong Kong
If lawmakers or Executive Councillors are invited for outbound trip which is paid for by an external party (i.e. non HKSAR government bodies), they have to report such trip to their respective council within 14 days after the trip is completed. Based on their declaration records, Albert Ho reported a trip to Taipei which was sponsored. Emily Lau Wai-hing, chairwoman of Democratic Party had previously been sponsored by Council of Asia Liberals and Democrats to visit Singapore for a meeting.
Cathay Pacific has a history of inviting lawmakers to attend some of its major events. In July 2013, lawmaker Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen and Abraham Shek Lai-him (Abraham Razack) both had been invited by Cathay Pacific to another event in France. Based on Abraham Shek’s report, he volunteered to donate US$6,500 to Hong Kong Unison in order to compensate the expenses of the trip.
DAB’s Wong Ting-kwong was sponsored by Cathay Pacific three times in his last term as a lawmaker to visit Bowing’s facilities in the US, and events in Milan and Chicago. All these trips were paid for by Cathay Pacific.
Relevant news report in The Standard.