I get to have my say on UGL probe: CY Leung
Chief Executive CY Leung insisted on Monday that he has every right to suggest changes to an impending Legco probe into his acceptance of HK$50 million in payments from Australian firm UGL, denying accusations that he’s trying to influence the investigation so it’s carried out on his own terms.
He was responding to media reports that his office directly changed a lawmaker’s suggestions on the scope of the investigation. But Leung deflected reporters’ questions, refusing to directly confirm whether his office had made numerous changes to a draft document submitted to Legco by DAB legislator Holden Chow.
However, he didn’t deny the allegation either, saying only that that the CE’s Office has “every right” to make suggestions.
“Everything could be public and open as far as I’m concerned, and the scope of study should be as wide as possible to cover all the questions – whether they were reasonable questions or not reasonable questions – that have been asked either privately or publicly in the past two and a half [years]”, Leung said. “So why don’t we include all the questions that have been asked so far and not just the ones limited to the draft scope of study?”
The revelation was reportedly made during a closed-door meeting of the Legco Select Committee looking into the UGL payment.
The Legco Secretariat is reported to have alerted members that computer records show that a document submitted by Chow had been edited by the Chief Executive’s Office.
Chow reportedly admitted this during the hearing, further telling his colleagues that CY Leung had taken the initiative to approach him to suggest alterations in the scope of the UGL investigation.
Leung has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying the HK$50 million payment was part of a standard non-compete and non-poach agreement.
However, critics accused the Chief Executive of failing to properly declare the payment, and of a possible conflict of interest.
Lawmakers voted to set up a select committee late last year to look into the payments.