Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying yesterday turned up the heat on opposition lawmaker Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong, whom he wants to quit from a panel probing the HK$50 million that he received from Australian firm UGL.
It was unacceptable for the lawmaker not to respond to his criticisms, the CE charged.
The CE has been demanding since last week that Kenneth Leung resign from the Legislative Council select committee, citing the defamation suit that he has filed against the lawmaker.
Committee chairman Paul Tse Wai- chun said neither he nor Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen has the power to expel Kenneth Leung from the panel.
The CE’s almost daily attack on Kenneth Leung comes after Holden Chow Ho-ding, from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, quit from the committee on Friday.
That was after a document Chow submitted to the panel was found to contain changes traced to the CE.
In a 1,400-word “Open letter to Kenneth Leung” on his personal blog yesterday, the CE said: “You [Kenneth Leung] didn’t respond to the questions I posted to you publicly, neither did you answer questions from the media. If it was tolerable, what else can’t be tolerated?”
He also posted a screen shot of Kenneth Leung’s Facebook page, showing a letter that Inland Revenue Commissioner Wong Kuen-fai wrote to the lawmaker in October 2014.
“You only have one goal: to tell Hong Kong society and the world that the Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR is being investigated. Do you really want to stay in the committee, so that people can see you act in this self- directed play?” Leung wrote.
He warned that “the move of making use of law enforcement bodies to attack government officials must be tackled by civil and criminal means.”
Several lawmakers filed complaints with the ICAC last week, accusing the chief executive of misconduct in public office for intervening in the committee’s probe.
Meanwhile, committee chairman Tse said Kenneth Leung’s action was “essentially different” from Chow.
“One [Chow’s case] involves a direct contact [with the subject of investigation] without the knowledge of the committee, while another is an open lawsuit, which may involve the allegation of libel,” Tse said.
But former Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong Tam Yiu-chung said: “If we believe Chow should resign for fear that he will be biased in the future, shouldn’t Kenneth Leung also resign based on the same logic?”