Date
10 December 2016
Sponsors are shown (inset) after buying calligraphy by Zhang Xiaoming for HK$13 million during the DAB's fundraising banquet in 2014. Photos: HKEJ
Sponsors are shown (inset) after buying calligraphy by Zhang Xiaoming for HK$13 million during the DAB's fundraising banquet in 2014. Photos: HKEJ

DAB splashed out HK$22.7 mln on 12 Legco candidates

Big-money contributions propelled key establishment candidates in the recent Legislative Council elections.

Starry Lee raised HK$5.3 million (US$683,275), the biggest amount, mainly from her party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), thestandnews.com reports.

Holden Chow got HK$4.97 million.

Altogether, the DAB donated HK$22.7 million to 12 of its members, according to disclosures on the Legislative Council website.

Sources said the DAB traditionally shoulders almost the entire cost of campaigning for its members.

The DAB reported an income of HK$100 million in the 2014-15 financial year, up 20 percent from the previous year.

Spending on district activities, widely understood to be welfare banquets and free food such as moon cakes and Tuen Ng Festival rice dumplings, ballooned to HK$20.6 million, up also 20 percent from a year earlier.

The pro-establishment party, which has collected HK$740 million in the past decade, organized 9,947 welfare and recreational activities from January to July 2015, or 47 activities a day during the seven-month period.

Meanwhile, Democratic Party legislator James To solicited campaign donations of HK$1.3 million, including HK$100,000 from former financial secretary Antony Leung, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

To said the Leung donation was unconditional as the latter is no longer a government official. He said there was no political tradeoff.

To said he decided to accept donations given the high cost of an election campaign.

Leung made the donation when he attended an annual dinner of his party, which also gave To HK$670,000 for his campaign.

Localist lawmaker Lau Siu-lai received HK$170,000 from former radio talk show host and businessman Albert Cheng.

Lau said Cheng also helped her post advertisements and produce promotional material.

The donation was in kind and there was no cash transaction involved, Lau said.

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