Paul Chan Mo-po

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Paul Chan Mo-po

陳茂波
財政司司長陳茂波17.jpg
Financial Secretary of Hong Kong
Assumed office
16 January 2017
Chief ExecutiveLeung Chun-ying
Carrie Lam
Preceded byJohn Tsang
Secretary for Development
In office
30 July 2012 – 16 January 2017
Chief ExecutiveLeung Chun-ying
Preceded byMak Chai-kwong
Succeeded byEric Ma
Member of the Legislative Council
In office
1 October 2008 – 29 July 2012
Preceded byMandy Tam
Succeeded byKenneth Leung
ConstituencyAccountancy
Personal details
Born (1955-03-18) 18 March 1955 (age 64)
British Hong Kong
NationalityHong Kong
Spouse(s)Hui Po-ming
Alma materChinese University of Hong Kong (BBA, MBA)
Paul Chan Mo-po
Traditional Chinese陳茂波
Simplified Chinese陈茂波

Paul Chan Mo-po, GBM, GBS, MH, JP is the current Financial Secretary of Hong Kong and former Secretary for Development of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. He was a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (Accountancy functional constituency).

He is an accountant and the former President of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA). He holds BBA and MBA degrees from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he is an Adjunct Associate Professor. He has also studied at the Harvard Business School. Having been caught up in scandals immediately since his appointment to the government, Chan is considered by local media to be an embarrassment to the government as he has been one of its most controversial members other than CY Leung himself.[1]

Biography[edit]

Chan is the eldest of a family of four, grew up in a resettlement estate that his family lived in until a fire destroyed Shek Kip Mei in 1953. Chan was admitted to the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he graduated with an accounting degree. At one time, he worked by day in the Inland Revenue and by night as a lecturer. He later set up his own accounting firm.[2]

He is an accountant who holds BBA and MBA degrees from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and has also studied at the Harvard Business School. As the former president of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), he stood for the accountancy Functional constituency and was elected to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong in 2008. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

He was appointed the Secretary for Development and inducted into the CY Leung administration on 30 July 2012 to replace Mak Chai-kwong, who resigned earlier that month over a housing allowance fraud scandal.[3] He resigned from the Legislative Council on the same day.

He is married to Frieda Hui, and the couple have a son and a daughter.

Subdivided flats scandal[edit]

As Development Secretary, Paul Chan is responsible for the Buildings Department, whose mission includes dealing with illegal structures. Chan soon became embroiled in a scandal when his wife, Frieda Hui, through a company of which he was a former director, was found to own several properties that had been illegally subdivided.[3][4][5] Chan denied any knowledge of the subdivided properties and said that in any event he ceased to be a director of the company holding the properties in 1997. After having been served rectification notices by the Building Department, Chan was quoted as saying that tenants partitioned the properties in breach of their leases.[5]

Ming Pao subsequently revealed that, between 1994 and 1996, Harvest Charm Development acquired a total of 10 old flats in Tai Kok Tsui and Jordan while both Chan and his wife Freida were directors. Five of these properties were shown to have been subdivided. When confronted with the facts, Chan said his initial denial meant he had "no knowledge of the current status [at those properties]"[6][3]

His initial silence, and then self-contradictory public statements on the matter that were widely seen as deceptive, led to calls for his resignation. Ming Pao said that Chan must restore public confidence in him by "coming up with some convincing evidence that he has no intention to deceive the public".[6] The convenor of the Executive Council also questioned Chan's credibility and the impact of the unfolding scandal on the credibility of the government.[4] Chan gave a pledge that he and his wife would not make further investments in the property market, and would divest their shares in Harvest Charm Development, the company at the centre of the controversy.[3][4][5]

Development land scandal[edit]

In July 2013, Chan was once again the subject of controversy when Apple Daily revealed that he or his family had an interest in a plot of land in Kwu Tung in the New Territories that the government had plans to develop. Chan was responsible for pushing the project through, and was accused of conflict of interest and failure to make proper disclosure. An editorial in The Standard noted that, with the exception of Regina Ip, all other pro-establishment figures either remained silent or distanced themselves from Chan over the matter.[1]

Chan's signature appears on the initial purchase agreement for 20,000 square feet plot of farmland near Sheung Shui. The deal was finalised by a company in which his wife held shares.[1] Chan said that the land was acquired in 1994 at a cost of HK$350,000 for the family's leisure use. According to an exposé by Apple Daily, the land acquired in 1994 by Chan/Hui through a web of offshore-registered companies, which included 37.5% stake held by BVI-registered Orient Express Holdings Ltd., and Orient Express was held by Frieda Hui (90%) and their son, James (10%).[7] Paul Chan, claiming to be the owner of a piece of land, collected rent in 1996 and issued a receipt to a villager that was using it to grow crops. Chan signed it with a company chop of Statement Industries Ltd.[8][9] Chan claimed not to remember whether he held out to being the owner of the land.[9] Chan said he informed Chief Executive CY Leung of the purchase when he became aware of the government's plan to develop a new town in September 2012, and also informed the Executive Council. His wife then sold her 37.5 percent stake to her family the next month; Executive council members are not required to declare interests of their spouses or family.[10][11] According to Apple Daily, the 37.5% stake of the property held by Oriental Express was sold to her brother on 10 October at HK$2.7 million, and at a profit of around HK$2 million. Although Chan claimed this was at an arms length transaction, the price is estimated to be half the compulsory purchase price.[12] Some legislators and pundits called upon Chan to recuse himself from the project due to his potential conflict of interest, but he refused.[8][1]

Libel case[edit]

In September 2014, the Development Secretary and his wife were found guilty of libel.[13]

In 2012 his wife Frieda Hui Po-ming sent a total of six e-mails between 1 and 16 December 2011 to the Chinese International School and about 10 fellow parents of year 13 pupils alleging that Jonathan Lu and his twin sister, Caitlin, had cheated in economics tests.[14] The emails also alleged that their father Carl, who was a parent governor at the school, attempted to suppress the incident. Four of the emails were written after the school section head had informed her of two investigations that had exonerated the twins. She wrote one more accusatory letter on 16 December, the day after the school had concluded a third investigation and had publicly issued a circular to all students of the findings.[14]

During the trial, Chan attempted to implicate his wife as wholly responsible for the emails, resulting in Chan being satirised for once again employing the "BMW" defence – acronym for "Blame My Wife".[15][16] However, the plaintiffs successfully argued that Paul Chan was complicit in the attempted character assassination as he was co-signatory, his Legislative Council email address was copied on the correspondence. In the emails, Hui used her husband's occupation as a legislator to leverage her accusations.[17][18]

At the end of the case, the judge found that there had been no actual evidence supporting Chan and his wife's accusations. The High Court ordered the couple to pay damages to the plaintiffs amounting to HK$230,000.[13]

Current positions[edit]

Chan is the managing director of Paul Chan & Partners, Hong Kong Limited. He also serves as independent non-executive director for several Hong Kong listed companies.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Ma, Mary (23 July 2013). "Act four in Paul Chan scandals" Archived 30 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine. The Standard.
  2. ^ Chen, Bonnie (18 June 2012). "Balance sheet boss Archived 8 January 2013 at Archive.today". The Standard (Hong Kong)
  3. ^ a b c d Simon Lee. "Hong Kong Minister's Property Interests Draw Controversy". Bloomberg L.P.
  4. ^ a b c Tycoon backs Paul Chan in flats row, South China Morning Post, 8 August 2012
  5. ^ a b c Luk, Eddie (23 August 2012). "Minister breaks silence in defense of flats-row wife" Archived 30 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine. The Standard.
  6. ^ a b "Editorial". Sina Corp. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015.
  7. ^ 囤地波 兒子也囤地. Apple Daily (in Chinese).
  8. ^ a b 亞視向部分員工發十二月薪金 – 有線寬頻. i-CABLE.
  9. ^ a b 茂波:不記得曾自稱業主 (in Chinese). Sing Tao Daily.
  10. ^ Luk, Eddie (23 July 2013). "Chan holds ground" Archived 30 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine. The Standard.
  11. ^ Ip, Kelly (25 July 2013) "Chan in-laws to sell `hot property'" Archived 30 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine. The Standard.
  12. ^ 許步明270萬賣股權益胞弟. Apple Daily (in Chinese).
  13. ^ a b 陳茂波及其妻誹謗罪成 賠償23萬元 Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine. RTHK, 30 September 2014
  14. ^ a b Chu, Julie (30 September 2014). "Paul Chan and Wife Lose Defamation Case". South China Morning Post, page A1
  15. ^ 原告批評陳茂波「BMW」. Apple Daily (in Chinese).
  16. ^ http://www.mingpaocanada.com/Van/htm/News/20141001/HK-gba1_r.htm
  17. ^ "Paul Chan and his wife sent libellous e-mails, court hears". EJ Insight.
  18. ^ 法庭:漢基校董告陳茂波誹謗 [Directors of Chinese International School sue Paul Chan Mo-po for libel]. Oriental Daily (in Chinese). Hong Kong. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  19. ^ Paul Chan Mo Po

External links[edit]

Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by
Mandy Tam
Member of Legislative Council
Representative for Accountancy
2008–2012
Succeeded by
Kenneth Leung
Political offices
Preceded by
Mak Chai-kwong
Secretary for Development
2012–2017
Succeeded by
Eric Ma
Preceded by
John Tsang
Financial Secretary of Hong Kong
2017–present
Incumbent
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Matthew Cheung
Chief Secretary for Administration
Hong Kong order of precedence
Financial Secretary
Succeeded by
Teresa Cheng
Secretary for Justice