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Tsang under fire for taking government wine


Jennifer Ngo 
Jun 24, 2012

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen may be in trouble again, with local media accusing him of pocketing gifts given to the government, including boxes of Chinese wine and spirits worth more than HK$1 million.

Chinese-language media reported that among goods being moved on Thursday from Government House – where Tsang lives and works – to his new former chief executive’s office on Kennedy Road, were wines, including boxes of mao-tai spirit, worth more than HK$1 million and belonging to the government.

This is not the first scandal to hit him in the past few months. It was revealed that Tsang, who will be stepping down from his post on July 1, accepted trips on tycoons’ yachts and private planes, and stayed in presidential suites on an official overseas trip to Brazil using public funds, just months before retirement. He was faulted for lavish spending and inappropriate action, for which he has publicly apologised.

The Chief Executive’s Office confirmed that the boxes of mao-tai were a gift from the central government to the Hong Kong government five years ago, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the handover. Tsang’s office said the wine and spirits were strictly for use when entertaining guests, and still the property of the government, not Tsang.

Vice-chairwoman of the Democrats Emily Lau Wai-hing said the alcohol should not be moved if it belonged to the government, and asked why it was going to the new office.

“The government needs to explain its actions here quickly,” added independent legislator Dr Priscilla Leung Mei-fun.

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