Thursday, 28 November 2013

Steep Fall from Grace

Happier times when Rafael Hui (centre) was chief secretary... but now bankrupt
If you file for bankruptcy in Hong Kong because you owe say, HK$75 million, then you aren't allowed to take a taxi or use a credit card.

That's the fate that has fallen on former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan, 65, who is involved in a corruption case with Sun Hung Kai Properties co-chairmen Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen.

Yesterday the High Court declared Hui bankrupt for failing to repay unspecified debts to the Bank of East Asia, but he also owes money to other lenders: Hang Seng Bank, Honour Finance (a company owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties), Chong Hing Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

Some media reports suggest the debts amount to HK$75 million, with an unconfirmed HK$60 million to BEA. One wonders what he used the money for.

Other non-benefits of being bankrupt is that you can't use credit cards, can't hire an expensive lawyer unless your family will foot the bill, and you can't live in a big house either again unless your family owns it.

We will probably eventually find out how Hong Kong's former No. 2 official got into such a deep financial hole, but in the meantime, it's public transport for Hui like the rest of us plebs.

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