A fund launched last week to provide assistance to policemen and their families affected by the 2014 Occupy protests, has returned the money donated by three personalities from the entertainment industry.
Maria Tam Wai-chu, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress and a member of the fund’s board, said the APO Relief Fund, as the fund is called, still has about HK$20 million in donations after deducting the returned amount, adding that it will continue accepting donations, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Tam said the donations were returned in order to avoid the media hype that attended the fundraising campaign.
It had nothing to do with the background of the donors, Tam said, although she declined to identify the three donors and how much they had donated.
She also stressed none of the fund’s members had accepted any inappropriate interest and no donor had mentioned any condition for their contributions.
Last Sunday, several personalities in the entertainment industry jointly donated HK$7,777,777 to the fund, which was set up after seven police officers were sentenced to two years in prison for assaulting pro-democracy activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu in October 2014.
Among the donors were China Star Entertainment Group chairman Charles Heung Wah-keung, Sun Entertainment Culture founder Alvin Chau Cheok-wa and Emperor Group chairman Albert Yeung, who, according to some media reports, donated a combined HK$2.5 million to the fund.
The donations have worried some quarters, who said some of the donors have suspected links with triads while others had been convicted.
Charles Heung Wah-keung’s father, Heung Chin, is the founder of the local triad organization Sun Yee On, while Yeung had been convicted and jailed.
Lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting from the Democratic Party was quoted by Apple Daily as saying the fund has made a reasonable choice to return the donations as a response to public criticism.
Lam suggested that the fund make public the names of all the donors.
He also called on the police administration to be very careful or even seek opinions from the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) when it comes to accepting donations so as to avoid being involved in any conflict of interest.
Pro-establishment lawmaker Junius Kwan-yiu Ho, a lawyer by profession, said it is good to see the fund return the three donations for the purpose of being discreet, adding that the police also have their own mechanism to deal with monetary donations.
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