Hong Kong chief executive CY Leung is now facing questions over allegations that he pocketed millions in secret fees from an Australian company, according to a Fairfax Media investigation.
The report said that in 2012 and 2013, Leung had received two undisclosed payments totaling more than 7 million USD from Australian engineering company UGL in return for supporting its Asian business ambitions, the Sydney Morning Herald relays.
The contract signed by Leung on December 2, 2011, four days after he announced his plan to run for chief executive, showed that he was to act as an “adviser from time to time” for the Australian firm.
Leung and his office defended the decision not to declare the money, which was paid in connection with the sale of property company DTZ Holdings, of which Leung was a director.
Leung’s spokesman said that the payments were related to his designation from DTZ and “not any future service to be provided by him”. He added that there was “no reason” for Leung to declare the money.
David Webb, a corporate governance expert in Hong Kong, told the Financial Times that Leung should have disclosed information about his financial relationship with the firm in a form filed by Hong Kong’s politicians every year.
“The concept here is to disclose your commercial relationships, particularly when they involve money, which this did,” Webb said. He added that 7 million USD was “more money than 90 per cent of Hong Kong citizens will earn in their lives”.