CHIEF Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung(張建宗) says the integrity-checking process for civil servants will be reviewed. This was in response to allegations of unauthorised extensions at the house of newly appointed Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah (鄭若驊), and later confirmed to be found by the Buildings Department.
Cheng took office on 6 January amid reports of unauthorised structures found at her three-story house in Tai Lam that included a ‘glass house’ on the rooftop, an extended balcony and a pool. Cheng had earlier said the structures were already there when she bought the house in 2008 and admitted to a “lack of caution” in the matter.
Former lawmaker Nathan Law Kwun-chung (羅冠聰) said the incident exposes problems in the government’s process of appointing high-ranking officials, especially relating to background checks.
The pro-democracy camp questioned how Cheng could have missed the illegal structures as she is also a chartered engineer, questioning if she had disclosed the existence of the structures during her integrity check.
Members of the League of Social Democrats (社民連) staged a small protest outside Central Government Offices, accusing Cheng of knowingly breaking the law and trying to cover up the existence of the illegal structures.
Executive Council member Ronny Tong Ka-wah(湯家驊), however, said the incident does not reflect on Cheng’s abilities or integrity, adding that not everyone is aware of the issue of unauthorised building works.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 15 January 2018)
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