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CE provides detailed information in response to recent media reports about him

     In response to recent reports about the Chief Executive accepting hospitality offered by his friends and the related discussions in the community, the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, announced today (February 26) that he had invited the former Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal, the Honourable Andrew Li Kwok-nang to chair an independent committee to conduct a full review of the existing regulatory frameworks for prevention of potential conflicts of interests. The review is expected to be completed in two to three months' time.  Details of the committee and its terms of reference are set out in another press release issued by the Chief Executive's Office earlier today.

     "I have reflected deeply over the recent events again and again over the past few days, and come to the conclusion that there might be a gap between the current rules, with which I have faithfully complied, and the expectations of our people. In consequence, we have seen much disappointment, accompanied by queries about the probity of some of my actions, in our community," Mr Tsang said in an interview with a radio programme this morning.

     "I believe I have much to thank for many of the recent media reports which shed light on, and allow me to better understand, this critical gap which I am determined to take steps to address.  As public servants, we must make our best endeavour to stay clear of any suspicion of impropriety. We need to be whiter than white."

     The Chief Executive said that he realised that there were rooms of greater vigilance and sensitivity in his handling of the relevant trips, and stressed that the lesson was well learnt.

     Noting the view that he should not make any association with people who might be considered as "wealthy" or "rich" in our community, Mr Tsang said that as the Chief Executive, he had to get a full picture of what was happening in the community; hence, he had been maintaining contact with people from all walks of life, also including the grassroots, the middle class and people from different economic sectors.

     In the interview, the Chief Executive also disclosed the details of the passages he had taken on his friends' private yachts and private jets, as well as those relating to his rental residence in Shenzhen. He also said that he would provide the detailed information through a press release. The related information is set out in the Annex.

Ends/Sunday, February 26, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:51


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