The executive director of Our Hong Kong Foundation, a political think-tank led by former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, has been found to have entered the airport’s restricted area even though she had not been carrying her identification card at the time, an exclusive report by hk01 has revealed.

The foundation denied allegations that Executive Director Eva Cheng Li Kam-Fun declared herself to be “a subordinate of Tung Chee-hwa” during the incident or that any special arrangements had been made to accommodate her.

tung and cheng
Eva Cheng Li Kam-Fun and Tung Chee-hwa.

A delegation from the think tank was received by the Airport Authority on June 11 for a tour of the Air Traffic Control Tower, according to a source cited by hk01. During the visit, Cheng forgot to bring her identity card, but was allowed to enter the airport’s restricted area after apparently declaring herself to be “a subordinate of Tung Chee-hwa” to Airport Authority staff.

See also: ‘Bag-gate’: CY stresses he was not involved in retrieving daughter’s forgotten luggage

However, another source told hk01 that Cheng had not made any statements of the sort and, in fact, suggested that she should not be allowed to enter the restricted area. However, the Airport Authority said she could do so after her identity was verified, since she had applied for access prior to the visit.

ID ‘already submitted’

Our Hong Kong Foundation issued a statement admitting that Cheng had forgotten to bring her ID card. However, it said that Cheng had already submitted her personal identification details to the Airport Authority in May when applying for a visitor pass to the restricted area, and was therefore allowed in after her identity was verified, Apple Daily reported. The foundation said that no requests for special arrangement were made, nor did Cheng mention Tung.

The authority said that they had acted in accordance with procedures and that staff could issue a temporary pass to a visitor after verifying his or her identity. It also said that the visit had been conducted with airport security staff present and members entered the restricted area after passing through security checks. However, it did not respond when asked how it verified Cheng’s identity.

hong kong international airport
Hong Kong International Airport. File photo: Wikicommons.

According to her profile on the Our Hong Kong Foundation website, Cheng was appointed Executive Director of the Our Hong Kong Foundation in January 2015. Prior to that, Cheng held various leadership positions in Amway Corporation and was twice named the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes Magazine in years 2008 and 2009.

The incident came just months after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was accused of exercising his privilege to help his daughter bypass airport security rules and retrieve forgotten hand baggage. He has denied involvement in the incident.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.