A pressure group has filed a complaint to the Independent Commission Against Corruption against district councillors who allegedly had conflicts of interests in plans to redesign the Lam Tsuen Wishing Square in Tai Po.

Action Against Building Lam Tsuen Tiananmen, a group consisting of four members of the public, headed to the ICAC headquarters in North Point on Wednesday to request the anti-corruption agency to investigate if misconduct in public office had taken place in the project.

The new design, dubbed a replica of Tiananmen Square by netizens, is part of a HK$50 million plan to improve Lam Tsuen’s facilities undertaken by the Tai Po District Council.

The complaints came after a web of interests between the district councillors involved in the project raised questions.

The proposed design of the Lam Tsuen Wishing Square in Tai Po. Photo: Facebook.

District councillor Li Kwok-ying was found to have rented the land and approved the plans—and was also picked to build and operate the new square.

The pressure group’s convener Cheng Wai told Oriental Daily that the Tai Po District Council had not widely promoted the design plans over the last two years, meaning most residents in the area only found out about them after they were uncovered.

“The project involves serious suspected conflict of interest… We looked into documentations after media reports… We hope the ICAC will investigate the incident and that the Lam Tsuen project could be suspended to give Tai Po residents an answer,” he told the newspaper.

The group protested outside a Tai Po District Council meeting discussing the project on Thursday to call for its suspension. However, there were also more than 100 supporters of the project present. The new design of the Lam Tsuen Wishing Square could be officially endorsed by the Tai Po District Council at the meeting.

Action Against Building Lam Tsuen Tiananmen has received more than 5,200 signatures to date in a petition opposing the project.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.