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David Li vows to remove structure if it’s ruled illegal

The contemptuous story of certain Hong Kong Legco members, top officials and arrogance exemplified – this is at the root of why Hong Kong has no political will to fight pollution.

Lawmaker says he did not notice rooftop addition as he has not lived in the penthouse on The Peak

SCMP – 14 April 2012

Finance-sector lawmaker David Li Kwok-po has vowed to remove a rooftop structure on premises on The Peak should it prove to be illegal.

Li, who is also chairman and chief executive of the Bank of East Asia (SEHK: 0023), said he had not noticed the structure previously as he had not lived in the penthouse – in Altadena House, 27 Barker Road – since it was bought a few years ago.

He was responding to news reports yesterday that alleged the structure could be as large as 1,000 square feet. “If there is any illegal structure, I will remove it,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Buildings Department said officers would examine the approved building plan of Li’s flat and inspect the site.

Li is the latest in a string of serving and former government officials and lawmakers, including former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen, to have been suspected of having, or found to have, unauthorised structures on their properties. Li was chairman of Tang’s office for the chief executive election race.

Asked if the rooftop structure was illegal, Li told i-Cable (SEHK: 1097): “How would I know? It was not me who asked someone to design [and build] it.” He did not say who commissioned the work. “I bought it several years ago and renovation is in progress. I haven’t moved in,” he said.

The rooftop was surrounded by scaffolding yesterday.

Reports said Li bought the duplex for HK$106 million in December 2008. He applied in 2009 to install a lift connecting the main floor, mezzanine level and roof, and received approval from the department, a report said. It is unclear whether Li sought approval for building on the roof.

Last year, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was found to have an unauthorised glass-enclosed balcony at a flat on MacDonnell Road in Mid-Levels. He has since rectified the problem. Other public figures similarly caught out include Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung and Dr Kitty Poon Kit, undersecretary for the environment.

The row reached a peak in February with the revelation that Tang had unauthorised structures at a Kowloon Tong family home. They included a 2,090 sq ft basement, glass windows at the bottom of a swimming pool and a footbridge that linked the home, at 7 York Road, to the adjacent house, 5A, which he also owned.

The department is investigating the case.

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