The Legislative Council has passed a petition to form a select committee to investigate Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s acceptance of over HK$50 million from Australian Corporation UGL when he ran for Hong Kong leader.

The petition, presented by Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Wan Siu-king and Accountancy sector lawmaker Kenneth Leung, was passed after 28 pro-democracy lawmakers stood up in support of the proposal. Legislative Council President Andrew Leung announced that a select committee will be instituted.

Andrew Wan Siu-kin. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

Australian newspaper The Age revealed two years ago that Leung Chun-ying had received a payment of over GB£4 million from UGL in exchange for agreeing to not join rival firms within two years. They signed the agreement in December 2011, when Leung was running for Hong Kong’s top job.

Leung has refused to answer questions about the payment so far.

Leung Chun-ying. File

Wan and Kenneth Leung said in Wednesday’s petition that many questions are still unanswered, including why the chief executive did not declare the payment to the chief justice upon assuming office in accordance with Article 47 of the Basic Law.

They also asked the chief executive to clarify whether his agreement with UGL amounted to a conflict of interest, and whether part of the payment should have been subject to tax.

Kenneth Leung. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

“The power of the committee is limited as it is not covered by the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance. It may, however, summon individuals to give evidence with the authorisation of the Legislative Council.

Three select committees were formed during the last legislative term to investigate the 2015 Mong Kok unrest, issues relating to former anti-corruption chief Timothy Tong Hin-ming, and the beleaguered construction of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

Ellie Ng

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.