Hong Kong billionaire Thomas Kwok has been released from prison after completing his sentence for bribery.

Kwok, former boss of land developer Sun Hung Hai Properties, was sentenced to five years in jail in 2014 for conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office after bribing former chief secretary Rafael Hui. Kwok’s final appeal failed in 2017.

Kwok said on Thursday morning outside Stanley Prison that he was unable to sleep for many nights and was excited to be released. He thanked God and his brother, son and daughter, friends and his pastors.

Thomas Kwok and son Adam Kwok.

Kwok said that, during his time in prison, he spent most of his time working on his theology paper.

“I am glad that I am able to do something for the sake of the society this time, not just for the corporate [world], but for other interests as well,” he said.

He said he had reflected on why he was jailed. “There were a lot of emotions to deal with. It was a struggle inside, those were not easy days. But I still feel God’s grace which gave me peace,” he said.

“I want to tell young people that they should obey the law and not be reckless. They will regret when they are jailed,” he added.

Thomas Kwok (in suit).

He said his son Adam has been running Sun Hung Kai well in his absence. His son Adam said egg tarts and iced coffee were prepared for him.

After being released, Kwok said he wanted to catch up with local and world news and new technology.

His brother, Walter Kwok, died last year whilst Thomas was still behind bars. Thomas Kwok was allowed to visit his brother at a hospital before he died.

Rafael Hui. File

Hui was also convicted in the case and was sentenced to seven and a half years in jail. He is expected to be released by the end of the year.

Thomas Chan – a former Sun Hung Kai top manager, and Francis Kwan – a former Hong Kong Stock Exchange official were also convicted in the case. Both were released last year.

Last year, the Hong Kong government revoked the medals given to Kwok and Hui.

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.