Ip accuses Link REIT of making threats against party members

December 07, 2017 12:57
Regina Ip was allegedly indirectly told by Simon Lee (inset) to stop criticizing Link REIT or there would be trouble for her partymates in the district councils. Photo: HKEJ

Lawmaker and New People's Party chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee is accusing Link Real Estate Investment Trust (0823.HK) of making threats against party members in order to deter her from criticizing its business practices.

Ip, who is also a member of the Executive Council, said she has no plans to file a police report on the matter.

Link REIT, the largest of its kind in the Asia-Pacific by market capitalization, owns a number of shopping malls, car parks and housing estate parking lots in Hong Kong.

Ip said she has asked the Transport and Housing Bureau and the Financial Services and Treasury Bureau to monitor the company more closely, including going through every business contract.

Ip quoted Derek Yuen Mi-chang, her party’s policy research director, as saying that Yuen met economics columnist Simon Lee Chao-fu at a seminar a few weeks ago.

Lee allegedly asked Yuen to tell Ip to stop finding fault with Link REIT, or there would be trouble for Ip's partymates in the district councils.

Ip said she worried that some of the district council members of her party might end up losing their offices located in some of the company’s properties.

Calling Ip’s allegation shocking, Link REIT said it had never relayed any of such messages to her party members through any individual, adding it will continue to communicate with her party.

Meanwhile, Lee denied that he had delivered the alleged threat, claiming his encounter with Yuen at the seminar was coincidental. Lee said he could act as a middleman for Link REIT.

He said he has texted Ip to clarify what happened.

Ip said she had tried to meet with Link REIT chief executive George Hongchoy Kwok-lung several times but failed. She was later invited to a “peace-making” meal which she called “absurd”.

Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting said he was also invited by the company to a meal several months ago, after he failed to set up a meeting to resolve some reconstruction issues with Link REIT.

Lam said he was not surprised to hear Ip was  allegedly threatened and urged her to go to the police. 

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