Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

Tam open to law on donations

Hong Kong Standard, Thursday, October 20, 2011

Officials are open to the idea of coming up with a law to govern donations to political parties, constitutional affairs minister Raymond Tam Chi-yuen said.

“The administration has no policy stance on the issue,” Tam said yesterday. “We are open- minded and hope to hear more from society at this stage, before studying the matter.”

But he said there have been discussions about the need for such a law.

The majority view is that parties are still in the early stages of evolution and should have more freedom.

“The mainstream view is it is not necessary to have such legislation,” he said.

The League of Social Democrats is reported to have received HK$1 million from Jimmy Lai when it and the Civic Party conducted the “de facto referendum” campaign.

Then league chairman Raymond Wong Yuk-man, now a People Power legislator, said he and two other lawmakers, Albert Chan Wai-yip and Leung Kwok- hung, were not aware of the donation until the by-election was over in May.

“We were heavyweights in the party but no one told us about the HK$1 million,” he said.

Chan, who left the league early this year with Wong to set up People Power, chimed in: “Did I need to hand over HK$100,000 from my own purse for the referendum if I knew there was such money?”

He said a meeting early last year stressed the league should not accept any donation from Lai.

League chairman Andrew To Kwan-hang said none of the three league lawmakers were then in charge of administration.

He also said the league does not accept conditional donations.

Lai’s contributions to the Democratic Party made up 99.4 percent of all donations from non- members in 2009 and 2010.

For the Civic Party, Lai’s cash was about 40 to 68 percent of all donations from non-members.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>