Turns out CY Leung’s daughter’s “beautiful shoes and dresses” may not have been funded by taxpayer money after all: her lifestyle may actually be funded by a massive bribe from an Australian company. Phew!
A secret contract uncovered by an Australian news company, Fairfax Media, allegedly shows that Australian engineering company UGL agreed in 2011 to give Leung GBP4 million (HKD50 million). The payments were apparently made in two instalments, in 2012 and 2013—after Leung came into office.
UGL denied that the payments were to curry favours for a British property services firm that they bought, DTZ Holdings, of which Leung was a director and the chairman of its Asia-Pacific operations, reports the Age.
UGL insists that the agreement was made “solely to ensure CY Leung did not move to a competitor or set up or promote any business in competition with DTZ, or poach any people from DTZ, and hence to ensure the business retained its value after the UGL acquisition”. UGL also stated that “the possibility of CY Leung securing office was not the focus of UGL’s negotiations”.
CY Leung’s spokesman said that “the payments… arise from Mr Leung’s resignation from DTZ, not any future service to be provided by him”. The spokesman should have probably coordinated with UGL, which said the agreement also said that Leung would act as “a referee and advisor from time to time”.
Another fishy detail is that DTZ’s 2011 annual report reportedly says that Leung would not receive any money beyond what was statutorily required if he stopped working for DTZ due to a change in the company’s ownership. Mr Leung’s resignation from DTZ came into effect the day that UGL acquired the company.
When asked why the payments were not listed on CY Leung’s register of personal interests, the spokesman said: “Both the resignation from DTZ and conclusion of the agreement with UGL took place before Mr Leung was elected as the chief executive… There is no requirement under our current systems of declaration for Mr Leung to declare the above.”
This is bad timing for CY Leung, to say the least.
Photo: Laurel Chor/Coconuts Media