When someone shares with you something of value, you have an obligation to share it with others.
Occupy leaders refuse to reveal who donated HK$1.3m that co-founder passed to HKUTony Cheung, Peter So, Jeffie Lam and Joyce Ng29 October 2014Occupy Central last night declined to reveal the source of HK$1.3 million in donations that movement co-founder Reverend Chu Yiu-ming passed on to fellow organiser Benny Tai Yiu-ting.At Chu’s request, Tai gave all the money to the university where he works, to cover some of the expenses it incurred on Occupy’s “civil referendum” and other activities, the movement said.Earlier in the day, leaked emails suggested that it was Tai who had received the donations over several months from at least one anonymous donor. But Occupy said it was actually Chu who had received at least HK$1.3 million from “a member of the public” in support of his “efforts in promoting democracy”.Three cheques - for HK$800,000, HK$300,000 and HK$200,000 - were then passed on to Tai, who donated the money to the University of Hong Kong’s public opinion programme, the law faculty and the school of humanities as anonymous donations. Tai is an associate professor of law at the university.Occupy said that Chu had donated anonymously a further HK$150,000 that was raised at his birthday dinner to support the university’s research assistants. The leaked emails showed that Tai had received a HK$150,000 donation in February this year to pay his research assistant’s salary. Yesterday he confirmed that the donor was Chu.Occupy’s statement did not identify the “member of the public” or how much he or she gave.Tai said: “Reverend Chu and the Occupy Movement cannot reveal the identity of the donor without his consent.” But Tai said the donor or donors were “local” and insisted the donations complied with HKU’s requirements.An HKU source said Tai had not violated university policies, and management knew about the donations and the donor’s wish to remain anonymous. Officials were convinced the gifts came from reputable sources.An HKU spokeswoman said in a statement: “[HKU] has established guiding principles on donations and has procedures to verify the source of donations. We respect donors’ wishes if they prefer not to be named publicly but we always identify donors and undertake due diligence.“Donations would be used on well-defined purposes such as academic, infrastructure, research and learning activities. We regret … that confidential internal emails have been released into the public domain. All … discussions with donors and potential donors remain private.”The initial information about the cheques given to Tai was found in five emails sent to media outlets by “Steven Yip”, who identified himself as “a scholar who loves the university”. More details could not be determined.The emails show Tai received the three cheques on May 10 last year. Photocopies of the cheques were included in the emails.The emails said Professor Chow Shew-ping, HKU’s pro-vice-chancellor, was notified and met Tai on May 29 last year. A director of the university’s development and alumni affairs office said Tai told her about the donor’s identity in July and the “case [was] closed”, said another email.According to other leaked emails, the third Occupy co-founder - Dr Chan Kin-man - had been in contact with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a US Congress-funded non-profit organisation that promotes democracy. Chan met a “Louisa” from the NED in January last year, while Tai met the vice-president of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in June last year. The latter non-profit organisation, created by the US government, promotes democracy worldwide.Chan said Occupy had never received any donation from foreign countries.
Post a Comment