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Managing the Millennium共創千禧

Eric Li ka cheung

Trust Your Choice Again


路遙知馬力      日久見人心
As distance test a horse's strength
So time reveals a person's heart

                • 創見    Innovative Views
                • 傾聽    Good Listener
                • 敢言    Independent Voice

Eric’s Different Roles

Eric active in playing different roles as an accountant

  • A friend
  • A guardian of public finance
  • A business ally
  • A community builder
  • A youth commissioner
  • An opinion leaders
  • A family man




Publications in 1998-2000:

LegCo Affairs

Eric's Bits & Bytes

Reports to HKSA

Policy Address
(2 copies)

Bilingual Circular to HKSA Members
(8 copies )

Quarterly Report to Council
(9 reports - on Website)

Budget Speech
(2 copies)

Special Issue: 
No-Confidence Votes
(2 copies)

LegCo Column to the Hong Kong Accountant
(19 articles)

* In Addition, I have contributed about 30 articles to various media publications.

Besides being highly productive in elaborate publications to report back to my constituents, Eric is still trying to improve and keeps up with the times. Please come and chat with me over the web.

Managing the Millennium Shifts 共創千禧

Dear friends,

While serving as your LegCo representative in the past two years, I spoke frequently on the theme of "Millennium Shifts".  The paradigm shifts in the post-handover political environment, the sweeping reforms in financial services, and the sudden flight-taking investments in information technology ¾ all these call for experience and sensible management.

This summary report will show my undaunted commitment to the accountancy profession by explaining what I have strived to achieve, how I have confronted the problems that come as a consequence of these tremendous changes, and how I have held myself fully accountable to you at all times.

A separate leaflet, entitled "New Millennium, New Vantage", describes the new, updated role I plan to play in future and gives details about how I have been preparing for this role.

I am sure you will carefully scrutinise the efforts that I have made to enhance the public image of the accountancy profession.  Your chance to express your voice and make it heard is just round the corner.

Please seize the chance and vote again for Eric Li Ka-cheung on 10 September 2000.







Innovative Views

Eric is mindful of the fact that power comes with responsibility.  A LegCo Member can be innovative and constructive without being necessarily confrontational, upright and critical without being excessively provocative.  In every issue of my Eric's Bits & Bytes (祥話短說), I have stated the exact source of my all original thinkings and the subsequent response from the administration.  It showed that well reasoned arguments would often bring home abundant practical results.

In the 14th issue of Eric's Bits and Bytes, I went even further in the 'check it Out' column and had offered prizes to anyone who can disprove twelve of my 'first of the kinds' suggestions made well ahead of their times.  To date, no one has yet successfully taken on the challenge.  Some of these and other innovative ideas are now being recapitulated in the next four pages of 'Innovative Views'. 


*      Early Prediction of the HKSAR Government's Challenges

As early as June 1997, Eric wrote the euphoria of celebration activities and optimism about Hong Kong's future economic prospects could well be followed by a huge "hangover".  The "feel good" factor and momentary frenzy may last a while but real issues such as housing, illegal immigrants and social welfare will soon put the ability of the new HKSAR Government to serious test.  (7th LegCo Report to HKSA Council - 19. 6. 1997)

*      Early Detection of Excessive Un-coordinated Reforms:

What the people of Hong Kong need most is not another lofty, long-term policy address, or an economic positioning that maps out in exacting detail plans and resources for various sectors - at a time when Hong Kong is travelling along a tortuous road in both political and economic terms. (Policy Address response - 21. 10. 1999)

*      Early Advice to the Chief Executive not to Estrange the Local Middle Class:

It takes more than the import of foreign capital, human resources and international investment for a city to acquire its own characteristics.  Apart from becoming a paradise for foreign investors, Hong Kong must take into account its fundamental needs.  Hong Kong's professional and SME are the mainstay of its economy and human resources.  If the Government, in its ambitious plan for the future, is only interested in extending its powers and dealing directly with foreign big businesses and ignores the interests, roles and feelings of local middle classes, the distance between the government and the people of Hong Kong will only grow larger and larger.  This is something that is happening and must be tackled.  (Policy Address response - 21. 10. 1999)  

*      Early Detection for the Need of Civil Services Reform:

But can the Government afford to be complacent about its attempts at improving efficiency?  Doesn't it have something to learn from the Chinese Government, which is right now launching a determined drive to privatise state-owned enterprise and streamline its structure in order to improve efficiency? (Budget response - 11. 3. 1998)
Let's not forget we are now in the middle of a slump and everywhere people are striving to cut down on costs to stay competitive.  Shouldn't this serve to alert those Government departments which operate trading funds and charge customers for services?  (as above)
An independent survey, commissioned by me and carried out by the Social Sciences Research Center of Hong Kong University, shows that 92% of the accountants interviewed support reform to the Civil Service. (LegCo Debate - 10. 3. 1999)

*      Early Systematic Survey of Accountants on Political Reforms:

Without a parallel political development, this blueprint for our economy and livelihood is like a picture with only dull colours.  I suggested that the Government should map out a preliminary blueprint for political development in Hong Kong and work out as quickly as possible the necessary procedures and a timetable. (Policy Address response - 22. 10. 1997)
Eric proposed to increase LegCo seats to 90 in the year of 2007, with 60 directly elected seats and the retention of the 30 functional seats.  (Hong Kong Economic Times - 24. 11. 1998)
Released the first of its kind independent survey conducted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on the views of functional constituency seats held by accountants ('Accountants Have Spoken', in "The Hong Kong Accountant" - Feb. 2000)


*      Early Detection of the Economic Restructuring and the Adverse Impact of the Government's untimely Housing Policy:

I questioned the validity of the Government's view that the administration's medium-term GDP forecast for Hong Kong could remain unchanged and that the sweeping currency devaluation in neighbouring countries was an economic 'cold spell' rather than a long-term 'climate change'.  (Policy Address response - 22. 10. 1997)
To achieve a home ownership rate of 70% looks suspiciously like a target set in a planned economy.  (as above) 
Signs of an economic slowdown are already apparent.  If the Government rigidly relies on bureaucratic means and stern administrative measures to meet these housing targets, e.g. 85,000, history will repeat itself.  We will again witness, in the property market, yet another instance of Government intervention which is too much and too late … such an attitude could ruin the property market and thus further weaken our share market and our whole economy.  (as above)

*      Early Detection on the Need to Manage the Risk of IT Stock Listings:

Hong Kong has more financial resources than technological ones.  This imbalance is already filling our stock markets with 'conceptual' IT stocks at a frantic pace.  ('The E-Revolution Age' in "The Hong Kong Accountant" - May 2000)

Public Finance

*      Early Suggestion to the Exact Form of Tracker Fund of Hong Kong (盈富基金) as a director of Exchange Fund Investment Limited (EFIL):

'The shares should be packaged as different product combinations … these product combinations could take the form of HKI portfolios … or to turn the different equity portfolios into unit trust funds.  This could prevent buyers from splitting up the equity portfolios in a short time.  (Hong Kong Economic Times - 17. 11. 1998)

*      Early Suggestion to Float Public Assets such as the MTRC:

As early as 29 May 1998, Mr. Eric Li took the lead and told the major newspapers: The Government should consider privatising a minority stake in the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, the Light Rail, as well as the Airport Authority, etc.  Organisations such as the Water Supplies Department and the Post Office could also be listed in order to raise revenue and balance the Budget.  (Eric's Bits & Bytes 10th issue - December 1998)

*      Early Suggestion that a Structural Problem of Fiscal Imbalance may exist:

With the rapid development of IT application in Hong Kong, we can foresee that no matter how hard the Inland Revenue tries, similar overseas experiences tell us that a fall in the revenue will be inevitable, and this can be regarded as a medium to long term structural problem.  (Budget response - 29. 3. 2000)
The displacement of property trading activities to the new "venture capital" type of investment activities in IT stocks is likely to put the Government in a "lose-lose" situation.  ('Fiscal Deficits: A Structural or Phenomenon' in "Asia-Pacific Journal of Taxation", vol. 4 No. 1 - Spring 2000)
Whilst the loss in land related revenue is immediately, the growth of IT business will gradually "bleed" the ill-suited, outdated traditional tax base of its income over the medium-long term.  (as above)
The changes depicted above are unfortunately structural and also arbitrary.  (as above)

*      Early Appeal for the 4th Comprehensive Tax Review:

In the Budget debates conducted in 1996 and 1997, I reminded the Administration "to avoid relying too much on land sales and land-related income" and "the continuous narrowing of the tax net over the last few years has increased the instability of revenue from taxation and further planted a long-term financial risk."  (Debate on 10. 11. 1999 on 'Levying of Land Departure Tax by the Government')
Bearing the longer-term structural changes in mind, I believe the Government, if given the opportunity, has reasons to conduct a more comprehensive taxation review to see what adjustments and changes should be made to the existing tax net for the purpose of solving long-term structural changes.  (as above)

Professional Practice

*      Early Suggestion to Government to Outsource Inefficient Services

Recommend to HKSA the creation of a high level Task Force to pursue on matters, relating to privatisation of insolvency practice, taking part myself if required.  (Eric's Election Platform "Right On Track" - 5. 5. 1998)
The present reform to contract out services and of privatizing departments is, on the whole, following the right track.  (LegCo Debate - 10. 3. 1999)
PAC support the option of moving the provision of some services out of Government to the private and voluntary sectors.  (PAC Report No. 32 - 7. 7. 1999)

*      Early Advocate for Accountants to Take an active role in Information Technology

In Eric's congratulatory speech at the opening ceremony of the Association of Computer Accountants', he stressed that accountants should stand at the forefront of trends in the application of IT innovation.  (Tak Kung Pao - 8. 3. 2000)
To address the concerns of the HKSA to the Electronic Transaction Bill, the Administration has agreed to move vary amendments under the Committee Stage Amendments, these changes have given the Accountants a key role to play in the development of electronic transactions well ahead of other professions such as the engineers and even the IT professionals.  (18th LegCo Report to HKSA Council - 7. 3. 2000)

*      Early Efforts to assist the unemployed

Set up a co-ordination office and a linked computer system amongst non-government organisations to help them find work.  (Chairman's opening Address, HKCSS Quarterly Meeting - 14. 12. 1998)
Our youth agencies would organise over a hundred programmes for unemployed youth to improve their job preparation and life skills.  (Chairman's opening Address, HKCSS Quarterly Meeting - 21. 6. 1999)

Good Listener

My Advisor friends who helped to motivate me and keep me on course

Albert Au Siu Cheung      

Ivan Lau Ho Kit

Norman Yuen Kee Tong

Albert Wong Kwok Wai

Jeremy Bar

Patrick Paul

Alfred Shum Yuk Manq

Jimmy Pun Kwok Wing

Patrick Wong Lung Tak

Allan Aw Took Loke

John Ho

Peter Choy Chak Wa

Andrew Ma Chiu Cheung

John Lee Luen Wai

Phileas Fok Kwan Wing

Andy Lee Shiu Chuen      

John Li Kwok Heem

Philip Fung Lak

Antonio Chan  

Jonathan Leung Kwok Hung

Philip Tsai Wing Chung

Brian Chan Wah Kei

Joseph Hui Tak Fai

Philip Wu Tze Cheung

Cecilia Lee Sau Wai

Joseph Lo Kin Ching

Polline Lam Pui Mang

Chan Koon Hung

Joseph Yau Yin Kwun

Richard Tse Kin Pang      

Chan Sai Hoi   

Josephine Leung York Yee

Ricky Chong Peng Oon

Charles Chan Wai Dune

Joyce Chan Sau Yee

Ricky Wong Wai Pui

Chow Tan Ping

Kennedy Liu Tat Yin

Robert Gibson 

Chris Hall

Kenneth Lam Yiu Kin      

Ronald Chan Tat Hung

Daniel Chiu Yue Ming

Kenneth Poon Kin Wing

Roy Lo Wa Kei

David Lai Dak Wing

Kenny Tam King Ching

Simon Ho Shun Man

David Li Ka Fai

Kester Yuen Shek Hung

Stephen Lau Sing Hung

Dudley Harding

Kevin Yuen Kwok Wing

Stephen Yam Chi Ming

Edward Lau Ho Man

Lawrence Lok Yuen Ming

Susanna Ching Chi Man

Edward Yeung Kwong Tat

Lee Man Ban

Tai Hay Yuen

Elizabeth Law

Lolita Li Kwok Wei

Timpson Chung Shui Ming

Fan Sai Yee

Louis Heung Sai Kit

Tom Chan Kee Sun

Fanny Lai Ip Po Ping

Marvin Cheung Kin Tung

Vivian Sun Kwai Yu

Finsen Chan Tak Shing

Michael Chan Kee Huen

William Chan Wai Hei

Francis Lau Mo Kaye

Michael Pang Tsun Loy

Wilson Fung Ying Wai

Frederick Kung Chun Fai

Nicholas Baldwin

Wong Kai Man

Helen Hsu Wai Man

Nick Etches


Share with Eric             Count on Eric

Views collected systematically from a broad spectrum of accountants were supplemented by professionally conducted independent surveys, i.e. political and civil service reforms, no confident votes on the Secretary of Justice and Housing Authority officials.

Independent Voice

'Speak with reasons, speak with substances'.  Be upright, critical without being exorbitant and reckless.  Praise not those who the whole world tries to flatter but also curse not those who the whole world tries to censure.  Justice is best served not by a public opinion poll but by a due process with open and fair hearings judged by impartial and fearless minds.  Hong Kong is a great place only if it tolerates different, pluralistic political views and independent voices.

Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

As an accountant and the chairman of PAC, I stand for both the credibility of LegCo and the dignity and integrity of the profession in this important and open process of public governance.  I hope you would agree that the works of PAC in the past few years had been widely acclaimed.  In all the cases below, the Administration has taken immediate corrective actions swiftly.

*      Water Purchased from Guangdong Province:

"The mishaps committed by the Administration in dealing with the Dongjiang water saga are legion.  The Committee also condemn the Administration for not providing Members of the LegCo with accurate and complete information."
(PAC Report No. 33B - 12. 4. 2000)

*      Administration of Allowances in the Civil Service

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are seriously dismayed that the Administration has failed to abolish outdated allowances although it has long been aware that the allowances have become outmoded and no longer justified in present-day circumstances. (PAC Report No. 33 - 16. 2. 2000)

*      Proliferation of Pornographic Articles:

This state of affairs has led to a public perception that responsibility for this essential area of work is fragmented and uncoordinated.  It is critical to safeguarding the moral well-being of our young people and our community as a whole. (PAC Report No. 32 - 7. 7. 1999)

Professional Practice Environment

*      Auditors Are Not Police of Listed Company

Auditors should not act as police of listed companies, (6 July 1999, Apple Daily)
there is a need to balance regulation with an auditor's client confidentiality. (14 June 1999, Ming Pao)

*      'Risk Management and Corporate Governance'

In reality, the one who calls the shots may get the lion share of the rewards, take on minimum risks and pass as many responsibilities as possible to others.  (LegCo Debate, 3. 5. 2000)

In the most extreme cases, when a serious problem strikes, the regulators and corporate management intentionally pick on these professional intermediaries in order to shift the attention from the real culprits.  Professional intermediaries are often made the scapegoat for corporate failures.  (as above)

Professional intermediaries face tremendous pressure from public opinion, sometimes astronomical civil claims and even potential threats of criminal charges.  That is not fair to professional intermediaries who are instrumental in helping to create Hong Kong's enormous wealth.  (as above) 
Accountants should reasonably demand a bigger say in corporate governance as they assume more and more responsibilities.  That is why I have called for the creation of the Professional Intermediaries Advisory Council, with representatives from the HKSA, under the SFC;  (as above)

*      Eric also urged the HKSA to keep an open mind about change and should be proactive in proposing improvement in self-regulation.  He also proposed 8 points to keep up with the international trends as well as to defend the self-regulation of the accounting profession.  ('Biting, Barking Watchdogs', in The Hong Kong Accountant, August 1999)

Public Finance

*      Civil Servants Reforms:

At present, what many citizens and legislators are complaining of is a civil service that can "do no wrong, take no blame, and receive neither reward nor punishment".   (Policy Address response - 22. 10. 1998)

*      Obsolete Accounting Methods:

Like political sensitivity, a clear set of accounting language, is an important tool for management in public finance.  In fact, Government accounts still uses the oldest and the most rudimentary cash entry methods.  For mid-level managers, the approach to resource allocation and its management are still little better than a "spend what you can lay your hands on - use it up, doesn't save "kind of rule.  This approach does not encourage a modern enterprise culture of efficiency, thrift and of broadening sources of funds among civil servants who are routinely spending huge sums from our public purse. (Budget response - 24. 3. 1999)

*      Cyberport: Good Concept, But Method Questionable:

As a mega project, the cyberport concept is both attractive and practical.  However, with this project, the Government has not only violated the previous taboo on giving special support to a particular industry, it has also chosen to invest heavily in a specific sector of technology.  Further still, it has even made the most subjective choice of choosing a single business partner.  What were the objective and fair selection criteria used by the Government in this extremely irregular decision?
(Budget response - 24. 3. 1999)

Due Diligence




  • Evidence (Amendment) 1998
  • Securities (Insider Dealing) (Amendment) Bill 1998
  • Business Registration (Amendment) Bill 1998
  • District Council Bill (from 06-01-1999 to 25-01-1999)
  • Companies (Amendment) Bill 1999
  • Revenue Bill 1999
  • Telecommunication (Amendment) Bill 1999
  • Wages on Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 1999 Chairman


  • Finance Committee
  • Public Works Sub-Committee
  • Establishment Sub-Committee
  • House Committee
  • Public Accounts Committee – Chairman


  • Economic Services Panel
  • Financial Affairs Panel – Deputy Chairman
  • Information Technology & Broadcasting Panel
  • Welfare Services Panel


  • Prepare for the Setting up of the Select Committee to Inquire into Matter Relating to the Opening of the New Airport at Chep Lap Kok
  • The Professional Accountant (Amendment) Bylaw 1998
  • Public Revenue Protection (Revenue) Order 1999
  • The Five Resolutions made under Section 4 of the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance (Cap. 525) Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matter (United States of America) Order – Member Attending
  • Resolution under Section 3 of the Dogs and Cats Ordinance (Cap. 167) and Dogs and Cats (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (97 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1999
  • Securities and Futures Bill

Motion Debates Sponsored:

Civil Service's Culture and Efficiency 
3. 10. 99  



  • Electronic Transaction Bill
  • Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 1999
  • Mass Transit Railway Bill
  • Securities (Amendment) Bill 1999
  • Company (Amendment) Bill 2000
  • Building Management (Amendment) Bill 2000    
  • Securities and Futures Legislation (Provision of False Information) Bill 2000


  • Finance Committee
  • Public Works Sub-Committee
  • House Committee
  • Public Accounts Committee - Chairman


  • Economic Services Panel
  • Financial Affairs Panel - Deputy Chairman
  • Information Technology & Broadcasting Panel
  • Welfare Services Pane


  • Financial Resources Rules, Commodities Trading (Accounts and Audit) (Amendment) Rules 2000 and Securities (Margin Financing) (Amendment) Ordinance 2000 (20 of 2000) (Commencement) Notice 2000

Motion Debate Sponsored:

Risk Management of Information Technology-related Stocks - 3. 5. 2000



Say it all in Facts and Figures:

Formal Sittings:


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LegCo Questions Raised:


Oral Questions

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Membership of Committees, Sub-Committees and Panels:




Bills Committees



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