|Tycoon Stanley Ho among large NSW Labor donors
By Siobhan Ryan - The Australian (National Metropolitan, 2 February 2009)
NSW Labor has drawn some of the biggest political donations in the country from Chinese gambling tycoon Stanley Ho and other Hong Kong-based individuals and companies.
The Australian Electoral Commission’s annual returns reveal Mr Ho, who held a casino monopoly in Macau for decades, contributed $200,000 to NSW Labor coffers in 2007-08.
Anthony Chan, who lists the same Hong Kong address as Mr Ho, added another $100,000.
Gold Coast-based Hungtat Worldwide which media reports linked to Mr Ho in the late 1990s, topped up NSW Labor’s finances by $600,000 – the equal largest gift on the AEC’s returns register for the year.
Hungtat director Warren Cheung was overseas and would not be commenting on the donation, according to an office administrator who refused to give her name.
Kevin Rudd was a guest speaker at a Beijing ceremony in 2006 to mark a retail redevelopment backed by Mr Ho and Chinese businessman Ian Tang, who has helped finance some of Mr Rudd’s trips to China in the past
Mr Tang’s company AustChina Investment and Development, joined with Mr Ho in the $1.3 billion redevelopment.
A Sydney-based company Aust-China Pty Ltd (Beijing) made a separate $50,000 donation to the ALP’s NSW branch.
The branch also attracted a $261,000 windfall from prolific donor Hong Kong Kingson Investment, which lists a Kowloon address.
The amount was the biggest of its 2007-08 donations to Australian political parties, which totalled $761,000.
Other beneficiaries of Hong Kong Kingson Investment’s largesse included the ALP’s Queensland branch ($20,000), the Liberal Party ($230,000) and Nationals ($250,000).
The Australian is seeking comment from NSW Labor. | End