Date
21 August 2017
Legislators James To and Claudia Mo and former lawmaker Tanya Chan (Inset, clockwise) have denied claims that they received donations from Jimmy Lai. Photos: AFP, HKEJ
Legislators James To and Claudia Mo and former lawmaker Tanya Chan (Inset, clockwise) have denied claims that they received donations from Jimmy Lai. Photos: AFP, HKEJ

Lawmakers deny receipt of donations from Jimmy Lai

Legislators James To and Claudia Mo and former lawmaker Tanya Chan have categorically denied that they received donations of HK$500,000 (US$ 64,510) each from Next Media boss Jimmy Lai, after the latter revealed such donations in an interview on Tuesday, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

The trio were said to have not included such donations in their election expenses and legislator expenses declarations.

The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions has written to the legislative council, calling for an investigation to determine whether the lawmakers violated regulations.

Lai is said to have donated the money to support the lawmakers’ election campaigns in 2012.

Lawmaker Alan Leong admitted that he had collected HK$300,000 from Jimmy Lai, but insisted that the money was for the Alliance for True Democracy. The money was kept in a joint account that Leong held with Joseph Cheng, as the Alliance was yet to set up a limited company to collect the funds, Leong added.

Legislators Leung Kwok-hung and Lee Cheuk-yan were also reported to have received half a million dollars each from Lai. Leung said the money was collected on behalf of League of Social Democrats, so there was no need to declare the donations on a personal level. He said he welcomes any investigation. Lee is currently out of town, so could not respond to the allegation, the paper said.

Democratic Party chief Emily Lau said people should understand that political parties cannot function without funds. The media should focus not just on pan-democrats, but also other on political parties, she said. Lau said the Democrats have always tried to conceal the identity of their donors due to concerns that the donors will be targeted by the Communist Party in the mainland.

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