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Wednesday, Jun 16, 2021

Councillor calls in cops on record deletion claims

Councillor calls in cops on record deletion claims

A Sham Shui Po district councillor yesterday made a report to the police after accusing the secretariat of deleting and editing official records of council meetings.
At a press conference yesterday, the Democratic Party's Ramon Yuen Hoi-man said he would report the secretariat to police - which he did in the evening - for committing misconduct in public office, fraud and forging documents.

Then-district officer Damian Lee Kwok-hung walked out of two separate meetings last March and September, but his action was not recorded in the meeting minutes.

Yuen later tabled an amended version of the minutes to include Lee's departure. The amended versions were passed by the Sham Shui Po District Council.

"However, the discussion and the votes on my amendments were deleted from the voice recording on the district council website and it went straight to where chairman Yeung Yuk announced the passage of the minutes," Yuen said.

"The secretariat also falsified the November minutes, as they wrote that the council made no amendment and therefore passed the secretariat's version of the minutes."

Yuen slammed the secretariat for falsifying the council's decision, saying the evidence showed that it was done intentionally.

"What the secretariat has done is selectively delete councillors' and officers' words on their own, which is serious misconduct," Yuen said.

"This not only deprived the public's right to know, but also recorded a decision that the district council did not make by editing the voice recording," he said.

"This is blatantly lying to the public and councilors. The Home Affairs Department should openly explain the incident."

He also said he has filed a complaint to the Ombudsman and will file a complaint with the Independent Commission Against Corruption today.

During a meeting yesterday, Jennifer Ho Kam-ping, a senior executive officer from the secretariat of the Sham Shui Po District Council, said that as those discussions were not related to district affairs, it would not be included in the official minutes of the meeting.

The Home Affairs Department expressed its utmost regret for Yuen's false accusation.

"It is usual practice for the secretariat to not include discussions that are contrary to the District Council Ordinance in the minutes or upload voice recordings of the discussions to the district council's website," it said in a written statement.

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