Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Word of the Day: BMW

The new buzz word in Hong Kong is BMW -- not Bavarian Motor Works, but Blame My Wife.

First it was Henry Tang Ying-yen, who claimed it was his wife's idea to build an illegal basement of 2,400 square feet in their Kowloon Tong home to include a wine cellar, theatre, gym and a Japanese bath. Really? Would a woman really design a basement like that?

She has pleaded guilty and the case goes to trial next week.

And now we have Secretary for Development Chan Mo-po also doing a BMW. He admitted her personally acquired 20,000 square feet of agricultural land in Kwu Tung North 19 years ago and was director of the company that acquired it, until April 2011.

His wife Frieda Hui Po-ming was one of the three shareholders of the company until she sold her 37.5 percent stake last October to family members.

The land is part of an area which will be redeveloped into a new town; Chan's plot in particular will be zoned for public housing and is estimated to be worth HK$17 million.

What is going on here? Aren't senior officials supposed to declare all their assets before taking office?

Currently the rules require an executive councillor to declare the spouse's land and property only if the councillor has a beneficial interest in the assets. Political appointees like Chan only declare the spouse's name and occupation.

But it could be argued Chan could benefit from his wife's sale of her shares...

Why is there no one looking in best interests of the public except the media, in particular Apple Daily because it has an axe to grind with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying?

The state of affairs in Hong Kong's government is shockingly bad. Doesn't anyone have any kind of integrity? Or is it just Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam because she can't say BMW?

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