Former HK chief declines CPPCC invitation for graft inquiry

Former HK chief declines CPPCC invitation for graft inquiry

By Yu Runze, Sina English

Former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang said he was invited to join the nation's top political advisory body, but felt it "inappropriate" to accept while he was being investigated by graft-busters.

Tsang was denied the opportunity to follow the steps of his predecessor, Tung Chee-hwa, becoming a vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The HK government issued a statement yesterday on behalf of the Office of Former Chief Executives, as Tsang spoke for the first time about the appointments, which have not been announced publicly.

"After I had left my position as chief executive, the central government approached me and inquired whether I intended to participate in the work of the new session of the CPPCC," he said.

"I considered the proposition thoroughly and subsequently replied that it would be inappropriate for me to join the CPPCC at a senior level while relevant investigations of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) were apparently still ongoing, “said the former HK chief executive.

“Other opportunities will exist for me to make contributions to my country and to serve Hong Kong after the relevant investigations have been completed,” Tsang added.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption stepped up its investigation of Tsang last February.

The move came after he was accused of accepting advantages in connection with overseas trips and a bargain retirement penthouse deal over the border.