Corruption allegations against a postgraduate candidate for the University of Hong Kong (HKU) council have been dismissed by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), citing lack of relevant regulations.
Also, Zhu Ke had bribery allegations against him dropped by the council, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Zhu had been accused by fellow candidate Michael Mo of buying his way to the HKU council during its recent election.
Mo said Zhu distributed digital red packets through WeChat to voters.
The council rejected the complaint, saying the amount involved — 80 yuan (HK$91.56) — was immaterial.
The ICAC said there are no relevant regulations from which to draw in any investigation.
Zhu won 654 votes to Mo’s 410 to claim a seat on the HKU council as a representative of post-graduate students.
Mo said he is disappointed by the fact that such a school with a long and rich history has no policy on corruption, according to Sing Tao Daily.
He threatened to go to the police to press his case if necessary.
Student union president Althea Sun said it would be unfair to come to a conclusion without examining the evidence.
Barrister Albert Luk said anti-corruption regulations commonly used in the district council and Legislative Council elections do not apply to the HKU council.
However, offering red packets, regardless of the amount, could constitute transfer of benefits, he said.
Meanwhile, council chairman Arthur Li said HKU has been falling behind in world rankings because it “uses people closest to them rather than the most capable people”.
HKU has fallen to 106th from 64th in the latest global rankings by U.S. News & World Report. It dropped to eighth from fifth place among Asian universities.
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