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English>>China Politics

HK Chief Executive apologizes again for illegal property works


10:03, December 11, 2012

HONG KONG, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung once again apologized for problem works on his property and took questions from lawmakers at a Questions and Answers session at the city's 70- member Legislative Council on Monday, saying he believed his replies and the repairs being undertaken would ease public concerns on the matter, and refocus their attention to day-to-day business.

Leung told the lawmakers that he appreciated that the public pins high expectations on the Chief Executive's every word and deed, and admitted there was oversight in his handling of the unauthorized building works, and he did not give a sufficiently clear account of what happened.

He solemnly apologized to the public, saying he will be doubly cautious in future.

"I have never had any intention of concealing anything. I must admit there was oversight on my part and my explanation was not sufficiently clear. I must once again solemnly offer my apology, and that I undertake to be extra cautious in future and continue to serve the people of Hong Kong with integrity," he said.

He accepted criticism for failing to meticulously scrutinize the property for the presence of unauthorized building works when he bought it, and for carelessly self-handling the issue afterwards.

Leung said he has not replied to four notes from the city government's Buildings Department regarding the brick wall in the basement because, according to his legal advice, he could not comment until the election petition ended.

The election petition over his Peak property took four-and-a- half months from the beginning to the Court of Final Appeal verdict. His legal advisors recommended he not comment on it, and restoration work had to be suspended.

Leung said on Nov. 23 when the legal proceedings ended, he acted on the advice of his professional team and published a detailed statement in writing, and reactivated the reinstatement work. The work is now coming to an end.

After the purchase of the property in 2000, Leung said he hired architects to make applications with the Buildings Department regarding addition and alteration works. Works started with the department's approval and they were inspected and cleared by the department in strict compliance with the relevant legislation.

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