BLOG – CY Leung Gifted Another Escape Route with Potential Scandal on Horizon 15

An investigation by Fairfax Media revealed today that CY Leung has received almost £4 million (HK$50 million) in secret payments from an Australian company.

CY Leung DTZ Corruption?

The payments were made in 2012 and 2013, whilst Leung was chief executive, though the arrangement was agreed upon before he took office.

The money was a result of a deal made with a company called UGL, which purchased an insolvent British property firm called DTZ Holdings.

Agreements made in 2011 left Leung – a director at DTZ – with a windfall that he has failed to declare. His office said that he wasn’t obliged to, as the deal took place before he became Hong Kong’s leader – plus, he resigned from DTZ before taking office.

The Age CY Leung investigation

However, documents obtained by Fairfax suggest that Leung agreed to “promote” the companies and not to set up a competitor to DTZ. Much of the value of DTZ was to be based on its business in Hong Kong and China. The payments ensured Leung would not obstruct the future success of UGL. Such agreements seemingly extended into Leung’s tenure as chief executive.

The investigation, and supporting documents, can be viewed in full here.

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Today’s development has echoes of the Kwok scandal and some level of irony, considering that Leung ended up winning the 2012 election thanks largely to a scandal involving ‘illegal structures’ at his challenger’s home. This investigation makes Henry Tang suddenly look quite transparent.

It also provides a new escape route for the city’s much-maligned leader. Leung is able to step aside either for ‘family reasons’, owing to the issues surrounding his daughter, or in order to ‘clear his name’. Will Leung choose the blue pill or red pill?

Alternatively, if he is a total masochist, he could continue to cling on and emerge from the past fortnight without an ounce of legitimacy.

  • TomV

    It would be nice if this reporting would be more neutral than using the words corruption and whispering in CY’s the possible reasons to step down. If he does step down, is Hong Kong going to be a better place? How?

    • Article has never included the word corruption. Only the web URL does – I admit it was careless.

      • TomV

        Thx. I was just adding things up.
        If I want to read the more unbalanced stuff, I normally go to China Daily or Epoch Times.

        • Unbalanced? This is a one-man blog. You’re in the wrong place if you were looking for The Times of London.

          • TomV

            Getting uptight? I’m trying to hold up a mirror. It’s ok to choose side. It’s not ok to insinuate

          • Andrew Guthrie

            If we need to parse the meaning of “corruption” and whether the use of that word interferes with a “balanced” report, can we alternately refer to CY Leung’s behaviour in this case as “business as usual”, or is that too partisan? The fact is, is that this level of influence on, and proximity to the economically powerful is endemic in politics worldwide and harkens to a feudalistic mindset that we had hoped (naively) that we had left behind. Whether strictly defined “corruption” occurred or not, this case well indicates CY Leung’s skewed priorities. And what good will it do if he is forced from office? It is taken for granted that he will be replaced by a clone, which is exactly the point of the pro-democracy camp – the chief executive is Beijing’s clone. But it will nevertheless be a small symbolic victory extracted from an otherwise intransigent opponent.

          • TomV

            I’m actually shocked by this: – if it’s true, he’ll have quite some more to explain. I wonder why the +90 mln gbp people aren’t disclosed

  • Shelly Lo

    I think it’s perfectly fine to make these comments as an opinion article.

  • kevcampb

    Curious to know how fairfax media came across the details. Did they get a tip off?

  • Ken Morgan

    Time to call in the ICAC!