Lawyer Claims No Knowledge In Fung Bribery Case

May 22, 2019

NewsStandOnline.Net (22-May-2019): A lawyer who took the witness stand in the trial of a bribery case involving former government official Wilson Fung Wing-yip and Macau businesswoman Cheyenne Chan Ung-iok, testified that he did not know the former but only the latter.

Peter Ha Wing-ho, who helped Fung in the purchase of a luxury flat in Mid-Levels in 2004, also said he was not aware whether Chan had put down part of the deposit for the property.  Ha said he had no idea what kind of relationship the two defendants had.

Fung, 55, who was deputy secretary for economic development and labor from 2003 to 2006, was charged with a public servant accepting an advantage and misconduct in public office.

Chan, a sister-in-law of Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho Hung-sun and former director and shareholder of three airline and helicopter companies, was charged with offering an advantage to a public servant.

Fung was accused of having accepted HK$510,000 in September 2004 from Chan and acting in a manner favorable to Chan’s companies over a three-year period between 2004 and 2006.

Lawyer Claims No Knowledge In Fung Bribery Case

The amount, the prosecution said on Monday, was paid as part of a deposit on the luxury flat bought by Fung and his wife Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee, who currently heads the government’s Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office.

Ha, a cousin of Chan’s ex-husband, told the court on the second day of the hearings yesterday that he did not know Fung and his wife, saying he usually paid attention only to the address, price, and additional conditions related to the property as well as liabilities involved in a transaction but rarely paid attention to any change in the name of the buyer on a contract.

Ha also pointed out that signing a contract of nomination in the flat purchase was witnessed by his secretary and he only signed it afterwards.

The lawyer said he asked his secretary to handle subsequent procedures in the transaction, and that he had never met the couple during the entire process.

He only saw the buyer’s name change to Betty Fung’s name when the formal purchase contract was signed. He said he had given her a fee discount.

Ha also told the court that Chan lost focus in her life and felt frustrated after she found out that her husband then had an extra-marital affair in 2003.

HK 5G Development Behind In Comparison To UK

May 21, 2019

NewsStandOnline.Net (21-May-2019): The United Kingdom will soon follow in the footsteps of South Korea and launch a 5G service.

Vodafone has announced that its 5G network will go live on July 3, and that the service will be initially available in seven cities: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London. By the end of the year, the operator plans to add 12 more cities. Vodafone will offer 5G roaming across Germany, Italy, and Spain.

Washington has been warning EU nations not to buy telecom equipment from China’s Huawei. Donald Trump signed an executive order that bans the use of telecommunications equipment made by companies that are deemed a threat to national security.

However, Vodafone will reportedly stick to telecom equipment from Huawei for non-core telecommunication, while using Ericsson’s telecom products for building the 5G network.

HK 5G Development Behind In Comparison UK

Four 5G phones will be available for the new network: Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Xiaomi Mi MIX 5G, Huawei Mate X and Huawei Mate 20X. And a 5G home router called the 5G Gigacube will also be available.

Vodafone won its 3.4GHz spectrum license at the Ofcom 5G auction for nearly 380 million pounds. It now owns the most 5G spectrum among four leading British telecom operators.

Back in Hong Kong, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau recently provided an update to the Legislative Council on 5G progress. Apparently, 5G spectrum auction won’t happen until the second half of this year.

Hong Kong’s 5G development has been lagging behind that of other major cities, mainly due to misjudgment by government officials.

Fresh Pork Supply Resumes In Local Markets

May 20, 2019

NewsStandOnline.Net (20-May-2019): Fresh pork is available again in local markets today as two major slaughterhouses completed disinfection works and reopened over the weekend following a swine flu scare.

At a media briefing last night after attending the first Sham Shui Po Festival, Undersecretary for Food and Health Chui Tak-yi revealed that cleansing and disinfection work at the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse was completed the previous day and that the facility would resume operations.

Meanwhile, disinfection work has also been completed at the Tsuen Wan Slaughterhouse and it is also due to restart normal operations.

The two slaughterhouses have been closed for around a week after authorities uncovered a swine flu case, involving a pig imported from the mainland, at the Sheung Shui facility.

Following the disinfection and other hygiene-related works, about 1,300 pigs from local pig farms have been transferred to the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse and another 600 pigs to the Tsuen Wan facility, according to Chui.

The senior official noted that all live pigs imported from the mainland through the Man Kam To control point will be quarantined, and that those without health certificates will not be allowed to enter Hong Kong.

The Sheung Shui slaughterhouse had been closed for eight days after the government said on May 10 that all pigs at the site would have to be culled so that thorough cleansing and disinfection could be conducted in order to prevent the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus from spreading.

Fresh Pork Supply Resumes In Local Markets

A pig at the slaughterhouse, which the authorities said had been imported from Zhanjiang in China’s Guangdong province, was found to have contracted the ASF, the first such case confirmed in Hong Kong after an outbreak of the disease in the mainland in August last year.

Soon after the revelation, the Tsuen Wan Slaughterhouse also took the initiative to suspend operations and conduct disinfection.

While both slaughterhouses have resumed operations, Hong Kong consumers may have to be prepared for higher prices of fresh pork, NewsStandOnline.Net reports.

Data unveiled on the website of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department showed that the average selling price of mainland live pigs was HK$2,653 a tam (50kg), or double that seen between May 1 and 10.

Hui Wai-kin, president of the Pork Traders General Association of Hong Kong, said although supply of about 2,600 live pigs was expected on Monday, the number is only 60 percent of that under normal circumstances.

Hui believes pork traders would restrain themselves and do their best to keep the price at an affordable level.  Hui expressed concern over the large-scale culling of pigs last week, and said there may have been a communication problem between the government and the pork industry.

It is hoped that the government can consider more thoroughly whether massive culling is necessary if any ASF infection case emerges in the future, Hui said.

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