Misconduct article unfounded

Chief Executive CY Leung

I formally resigned from the position of DTZ director on November 24, 2011. I was not a director of DTZ when I signed the non-compete and non-poach agreement with UGL in early December 2011.

 

The management of DTZ was fully aware of the non-poach and non-compete agreement between UGL and me. The Australian media organisation which first published the story in 2014 also confirmed in its follow-up reports on and after October 15 of the same year that all parties in the acquisition, including the then Chairman of DTZ Tim Melville-Ross, had full knowledge of the matter.

 

I was never a director of UGL.

 

I was never involved in any business decisions made between MTR Corporation Limited and UGL.

 

As for matters regarding declaration, the Chief Secretary, on behalf of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, clearly and openly clarified the issue at the Legislative Council at least four times in 2014.

 

To quote one of these statements made at LegCo on October 29, 2014, as an example: “The agreement and payments concerned arose from Mr Leung’s resignation from DTZ, not any future service to be provided by him. Under the current system of declaration of interests by members of the Executive Council, there is no requirement for Mr Leung to declare the said resignation agreement. Moreover, both Mr Leung’s resignation from DTZ and conclusion of the agreement with UGL took place before he was elected as the CE, and at the material time, he had already resigned from ExCo.”

 

The unfounded article which claims that I might have committed offences under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and of misconduct in public office has seriously tarnished my reputation. I reserve all rights to take further actions.

 

Chief Executive CY Leung issued the above statement on February 22 in response to an article entitled “Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference would not be granted immunity from prosecution”.

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Prioritising resource allocation

Financial Secretary Paul Chan

Some people say that making money is a kind of skill, sustaining business is a branch of knowledge, and spending money is a matter of art. As a government, it is our responsibility to take a forward-looking perspective and promote social and economic development; it is our duty to exercise fiscal prudence and save for the unpredictable future; and it is our moral obligation to relieve people’s hardship and support the needy.

 

Many people may only focus on the expenditure and revenue parts of the Budget. But to me, the Budget is not just a collection of cold and hard figures. It also indicates the priorities set by the Government in resource allocation, reflecting the values we hold.

 

How to mobilise resources effectively to achieve the aims of building a fair, just, caring and inclusive society that embraces pluralistic values, and turning Hong Kong into a low-carbon, more liveable, smart, resilient and sustainable city is really a formidable challenge for us. As I have just said, it is a vision that takes not only one or two Budgets, or even one or two terms of government, to accomplish. It is indeed a journey that we should take on together, and a goal that needs to be achieved through the concerted efforts of our community.

 

What are our expectations of the Government nowadays? What is our ideal way of life? How can we attain a sense of well-being? Many Hong Kong people, in particular the younger generation, would answer: Happiness in life is not about earning a living, but about having the freedom to pursue higher ends. They want to have room and opportunities to realise their dreams while doing jobs that suit their interests. They want to have a decent place to live in so that they can start their own family. They want to preserve and conserve the nature and our cultural heritage, as well as enrich their lives by exploring arts and culture. This reflects the pluralistic values of our society, the upholding of which deserves our joint efforts.

 

As in previous years, I will set aside financial resources to fully support the launch of various policy initiatives announced in the Policy Address. Amid global political and economic uncertainties, we must invest for the future in a bid to enhance our overall competitiveness, apart from deploying resources to improve people’s livelihood. Through consolidating our pillar industries, as well as nurturing industries over which we have advantages and emerging industries, we could explore new areas of economic growth and create quality and diversified employment opportunities. Only by so doing can Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient, continue to gleam and glitter.

 

Born and grown up in Hong Kong, I love this city as much as all of you do. Over the past decades, Hong Kong encountered numerous difficulties and challenges that caused confusion and anxiety among our people. Yet, time and again, we were able to weather the storm and see the sunshine on the other side.

 

I strongly believe that Hong Kong people have the courage, wisdom and ability to overcome all difficulties. Together, we can rise to challenges ahead and scale new heights, while sustaining the legend of Hong Kong.

 

These were Financial Secretary Paul Chan’s concluding remarks in his 2017-18 Budget speech delivered at the Legislative Council on February 22.

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Building a better HK

Financial Secretary Paul Chan

When I took over as the Financial Secretary on January 16 the foremost task before me was to prepare the Budget for the coming financial year. I kept asking myself: “What does Hong Kong need most now? What are citizens’ expectations of the Government?  What is our ideal way of life? How can we attain a sense of well-being? How do we position Hong Kong as an international city?”

 

I came from a poor family and grew up in the 1960s and 1970s when people in Hong Kong were, in general, happy and satisfied with their lives as long as they had a shelter and got enough to eat and wear. Hong Kong then saw brisk economic growth in the 1980s and 1990s and after that, two financial crises. I believe that having gone through these changes, Hong Kong people now crave for more than the basic necessities. We all want further progress in society, so that young people can cherish hopes for the future, the middle-aged need not worry about the competitiveness of the younger generation, and the elderly will have no fear of abandonment.

 

It is not beyond our capacity to realise this vision for Hong Kong, but I dare not boast that we can open up a new world for Hong Kong by one Budget alone. My endeavour is to make use of the wealth we have accumulated together through hard work to take care of the needy in the society, ease the heavy burden of middle-class families, and make appropriate investments essential for building a better Hong Kong.

 

I understand that people from all walks of life have different expectations of the Budget and hope the Government can respond to their demands. However, the reality is that resources are not unlimited, and that no Budget can ever meet the needs of each and every member of the community and win applause from all. We can only devote our best efforts to provide support for those in need, share wealth with the community when there is a substantial surplus and allocate resources to areas which are conducive to our social and economic development.

 

In the coming year, our economy will be fraught with uncertainties arising from the complicated and volatile external environment. I hope that with wisdom, collaboration and relentless efforts, we will have the strength to rise to all challenges ahead and embrace the future with hope.

 

These were Financial Secretary Paul Chan’s opening remarks in his 2017-18 Budget speech delivered at the Legislative Council on February 22.

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Engineering our city

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung

Since the year 1977 when ATAL Engineering Group was founded, Hong Kong, then one of the Four Asian Tigers, has evolved from a low-cost manufacturing base into one of the world’s leading and vibrant financial, trade and business service centres.  Today we are Asia’s world city, which also boasts world-class construction and engineering talent, techniques and experience.

 

ATAL has established itself as a leading electrical, mechanical, environmental and information technology engineering group, employing around 2,500 staff. It has also positioned itself to help improve the environment and livelihood of Hong Kong people with its expertise. Notably, ATAL participated in our Harbour Area Treatment Scheme to take charge of the design and installation of fibreglass reinforced plastic covers and deodorisation system at the Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works. ATAL also provided comprehensive system design and plant equipment for the Ngau Tam Mei Water Treatment Works, which was the first plant in the world using the new technology of Granular Activated Carbon to nurture bacteria for removal of ammonia from water. Thanks to ATAL’s pioneering spirit in innovation and technology application, the plant was renowned as one of the most advanced of its kind at the time. There are, of course, many more signature projects that ATAL should rightly be proud of. Latest additions include the Flue Gas Treatment System in T•PARK, which is a state-of-the-art sludge facility in Tuen Mun. ATAL has also extended its services outside Hong Kong. The Bailonggang Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion in Shanghai and various hotel developments in Macau are some of the shining examples that have won ATAL accolades from across the borders.

 

Looking ahead, we will count on your continuous support to fulfil our common vision of improving the quality of our living environment. Borrowing the wisdom of your new company slogan, “Engineering with Passion”, I would like to share with you our vision for the construction and engineering industry, which is built on four Passions.

 

Passion for Progress

First is passion for progress. We must encompass passion in moving the industry and our city forward. We will continue to engage in major infrastructure projects and carry on with the multi-pronged approach to increase land supply. To meet the needs of our growing and ageing population, we task ourselves to supply 460,000 housing units in 10 years and implement the 10-Year Hospital Development Plan. These initiatives will bring the Government’s estimated capital works expenditure to nearly $80 billion per annum in the next few years and provide new impetus to the industry. Of course, we will need the approval of the Legislative Council for the projects to be pursued as planned. We understand the concern of the industry about the project delays owing to hiccups in the approval process. The Government is working closely with the Legislative Council to resolve the problem and expedite the process.

 

Passion for Innovation

Second is passion for innovation. We should maintain our passion for innovation for it forms the basis of sustainable growth of the industry and our community. We encourage our professionals to keep abreast of innovative developments in the industry and apply new technologies on our worksites. ATAL has been a good role model as demonstrated by its projects. The Government is also taking the lead in this regard. As mentioned in this year’s Policy Address, we will actively seek to require government consultants and contractors to use Building Information Modelling technology in major capital works projects from next year onwards.

 

We are also pleased to note that the industry has begun to use robotic technology to aid construction workers. We appreciate the Construction Industry Council’s effort to establish the Construction Innovation and Technology Application Centre to provide information on the latest construction technologies. I do hope that industry practitioners could make the best use of the resources to enhance their productivity and safety performance.

 

Passion for Safety

Third is passion for safety. While pushing for progress and innovation, we must maintain our commitment to work safety. Since my time as the Secretary for Labour & Welfare, enhancing safety at work at all levels of the construction sector has been close to my heart and one of my key concerns. ATAL’s reputation for work safety has won multiple awards under the Construction Safety Promotional Campaign. I know that I can count on ATAL to uphold the highest safety standards.

 

Passion for the Environment

Last but not least comes passion for the environment. With climate change as a major threat, we must bear in mind passion for our environment in planning developments. As the historic Paris Agreement came into effect last November, the Government has set up the high-level Steering Committee on Climate Change chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration to co-ordinate efforts in combating climate change and achieving carbon reduction targets. After months of hard work, we have recently announced Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2030+. Our target is to reduce Hong Kong’s carbon intensity by 65%to 70% by 2030 compared with the 2005 level. In our strategic territorial plan “Hong Kong 2030+”, we have proposed a smart, green and resilient city strategy permeating all aspects of the built environment.

 

To enhance international efforts and co-ordination in promoting green building practices, Hong Kong will host the World Sustainable Built Environment Conference in June. Echoing ATAL’s slogan, we will continue to engineer breakthroughs with passion for progress, innovation, safety and our environment. With your support, we will strive towards the common vision of building Hong Kong into a liveable, competitive and sustainable Asia’s world city.

 

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung gave these remarks at the 40th anniversary dinner of ATAL Engineering Group on February 9.

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