CY Leung, a man of “integrity”. Photo credit: @voxasia.
Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung has issued a statement (paywall) to the press explaining the illegal structures built at his houses on The Peak. Leung insisted that despite the scandal his integrity remains intact (Shanghaiist Fact Check™: this is not true).
“I admit that I was not careful enough in handling the incident. But I have all along been honest and open, and co-operative with the government and the media, and taken rectifying action as quickly as possible,” the document says.
The first [illegal] structure was a wooden trellis located at House No 4, and the other was a glass enclosure with metal support at House No 5. There are five houses at the 4 Peel Rise address.
When the illegal building was exposed by the press in June, Leung attempted to claim that the glass enclosure was a replacement for old trellises installed by a previous owner. However, this claim was shown to be false when the Ming Pao Daily published aerial photos of the houses taken before Leung moved in, which showed no such structures.
Leung claims he did not seek to mislead Hongkongers, but merely “mixed House 4 up with House 5 at that time”, demonstrating the kind of honesty and attention to detail that will surely reassure Hong Kong residents that CY is the right man for Chief Executive.
The statement by Leung comes after Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal rejected a legal challenge by pro-democracy campaigner Albert Ho Chun-yun, which claimed that Leung’s election was unlawful due to his false statements about the illegal structures.
Donald Tsang, Leung’s predecessor as Chief Executive, was subject to much criticism earlier this year when it was revealed that he owned a HK$50 million apartment in Shenzhen. Tsang was also photographed wining and dining with property tycoons on a triple deck luxury boat.
Ironically, Leung only became Chief Executive after his main rival, Henry Tang, was brought down by his own illegal building scandal. Tang was revealed to have illegally built a basement under his private swimming pool.