|(Update) Wives of officials held in housing abuse probe
The wives of Secretary of Development Mak Chai-kwong and Higways Department assistant director Tsang King-man were among the four arrested on bribery charges by the anti-graft agency today.
Mak became the first official in Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's administration to fall today, merely 12 days after being sworn in as a principal official. Following his resignation, Mak was arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption today.
Director of Public Prosecutions Kevin Zervos has been appointed to proceed with the case, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Chief Executive CY Leung said it was not appropriate to comment on the resignation of Mak. Leung reiterated that Mak's responsibilities will be handled by Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, effective immediately.
Legislators said Leung's administration is off to a shaky start and demanded the CE to find a replacement as soon as possible.
Having faced accusations of abusing civil service housing allowances, an embattled Mak faced the prospect of putting himself through a criminal investigation just a day earlier, following a complaint filed with the ICAC. Mak was accused of cross-leasing his North Point flat with Tsang, when he was an assistant engineer.
On Wednesday, Mak admitted that he became aware from news reports that some citizens had filed a complaint with the anti-graft agency. He then backtracked on his promise to explain the rent deal with a bureaucrat in the mid-1980s. But lawmakers declined to accept his reasoning for not coming clean on the affair.
Just last week, it was revealed that Mak and Tsang had leased flats to each other at City Garden in 1986, while also collecting rent allowance from the government.