HK’s secretary for development resigns
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government Thursday announced that Secretary for Development Mak Chai-kwong has resigned.
Financial Secretary John Tsang will take up Mak’s duties with immediate effect, until further notice, according to a press release on the government website.
The resigned official is suspected of abusing a civil service rent-reimbursement system by cross-leasing flats with Tsang King-man, a current assistant director of the Highways Department, in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, the Independent Commission Against Corruption of Hong Kong (ICAC) confirmed that the head of a government bureau, an assistant director of a government department and two other persons have been arrested for allegedly violating the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance in relation to government housing allowances.
Hong Kong’s Department of Justice said on Thursday it is in the public interest to make it clear from the outset as to how the department will handle the matter. It said that it has in place established mechanisms to ensure that prosecution decisions are made fairly and impartially.
Secretary for Justice has delegated to the Director of Public Prosecutions Kevin Zervos the authority to handle the case to avoid any possible perception of bias or improper influence as Zervos is believed to have no connection with the persons involved in the case.
The secretary pledged to ensure that due and proper processes are observed in the conduct of the case and in strict accordance with the law and prosecution policy, the department said.
Mak joined the government as an assistant engineer in August 1976. He had been permanent secretary for the environment, transport and works since September 2006. He served as permanent secretary for development until June 2010 and was appointed secretary for development in June.