Monday, 22 December 2014

More Official Drama

Rafael Hui has gone to prison for seven years for bribery
Ah the mighty have fallen and continue to fall.

Today former Hong Kong chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan was jailed for seven and a half years and pay back HK$11.182 million (the amount of bribes he was guilty of taking), while former co-chairman of SHKP Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong was sentenced to five years and a HK$500,000 fine for corruption and bribery.

These sentences seem awfully light for shaking the public's faith in the Hong Kong government, along with a HK$500,000 fine? That's chump change for Kwok. Was that the maximum sentence Justice Andrew Macrae could give both convicted defendants?

Interesting that Hui even asked his former boss ex-chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to write a referral letter pleading for Hui to get a lighter sentence considering all the good things he'd done for the city.

Hu Jintao's right-hand man, Ling Jihua now being probed
Surely everything Hui did as a civil servant prior to working for the Kwok brothers was completely wiped out by this scandal?

In any event, attention has now turned across the border with the announcement by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection that Hu Jintao's former aide Ling Jihua will be investigated for "suspected serious disciplinary violations", which usually refers to corruption.

He will be the next tiger Chinese President Xi Jinping bags, after Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou, former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Ling was on his way climbing up the ladder of power when his son screwed it up for him on the night of March 19, 2012.

Ling Gu was in a fatal car accident when his Ferrari crashed into a wall on Beijing's North Fourth Ring Road before crushing a barrier on the other side of the road. Ling Gu was not fully dressed, nor were his two female companions, a lurid detail that has stuck with this story.

The wreckage of Ling Gu's Ferrari after a horrific crash
Ling requested the investigation into the accident not be handled by local police, but by the Central Guard Bureau, which oversees security of top leaders. This was his way of attempting to cover up the situation.

Pictures of the accident were put online by witnesses, but were soon deleted.

Then Ling got then chairman of state-run China National Petroleum Corporation Jiang Jiemin to pay tens of millions of yuan in compensation to the two women's families to keep quiet.

But the two large money transfers resulted in an investigation into the company as well as the link to Ling.

He was supposed to have been fast-tracked to become a member of the Politburo, but instead was transferred to a horizontal position as minister of the United Work Front, a mostly symbolic job.

However his time in purgatory was not enough -- even his open letters publicly praising Xi last week did not redeem him from being investigated.

Now it will be interesting to see what other things they uncover about Ling, particularly how his son was able to afford a Ferrari and maybe what did happen that night two years ago.

There are reports that Ling was a workaholic, but perhaps that was just a ruse to keep others from noticing what he managed to siphon off financially along the way.

How much did Hu know? And will he be a tiger Xi wants on his mantlepiece as well?

The drama unfolding here in real time is much more fascinating than anything TVB can cook up...



2 comments:

  1. Sadly, what I see is the powerful and connected in HK and China gets off lightly for serious crimes while those without money or connected to power get very heavy sentences for minor offences (vs. just fines elsewhere)

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    1. HI nulle -- we'll have to see what happens to Ling Jihua...

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