Monday, August 26, 2019

Peter Hall QC & ICAC seem obsessed with Huang Xiangmo, even while Chinese donors are happy to admit that all of them made donations to both sides of politics ; Minshen Zhu will not be called to give evidence

by Ganesh Sahathevan

ICAC Chief Commissioner Peter Hall will head an inquiry that involves NSW Labor.
ICAC Chief Commissioner Peter Hall

These are the parameters of ICAC's inquiry announced on 31 Jul 2019 , in its own words:

Public inquiry into allegations concerning political donations

The ICAC will hold a public inquiry starting Monday 26 August 2019 as part of an investigation it is conducting into allegations concerning political donations, the NSW Branch of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), members of Chinese Friends of Labor and others.

From even the first day of hearings, it is easy to see that ICAC Chief Commissioner  Peter Hall QC & ICAC seem concerned with only one donor in particular, Huang Xiangmo.

Here are but two examples of how Hall is attempting to narrow the focus of the inquiry onto Huang

The Icac chief commissioner, Peter Hall, asked Cheah why Huang would bring in a shopping bag full of money.
“If the cash came from multiple donors, can you explain to me, why Huang Xiangmo, said to be an extremely wealthy individual, would be carrying cash in a shopping bag on behalf of donors? Can you explain that to me?” Hall asked.
“Why would a man of his stature be undertaking such a task of a delivery man?

The answer to the above was provided by Labor’s then community relations director, Kenrick Cheah,who did not see anything extraodinary with Huang delivering cash on behalf of his friends. 
And then there was this:
Explosive evidence has already been given to Icac by Kaila Murnain, the current NSW Labor general secretary, who was an assistant secretary of Chinese Friends of Labor in 2015. She has told Icac that the former Labor state MP Ernest Wong had told her Huang was the true source of the $100,000.
“Of course, Ms Murnain’s statement as to what Mr Wong is said to have told her is not, of itself, conclusive proof that there were one or more ‘straw donors’ or ‘pretend donors’ associated with the Chinese Friends of Labor function in 2015 or that there was a scheme to conceal the fact that Mr Huang was the true source of funds,” Icac counsel assisting, Scott Robertson, told the inquiry.
“I anticipate though, that other evidence bearing on that issue will be presented during the course of this public inquiry.”

Meanwhile, Minshen Zhu, one of the most high profile donors ,will not be called ;his name does not appear on the witness list.
In 2016, it was reported that ...... Minshen Zhu, had written a $2000 cheque for NSW Labor candidate Chris Minns as a donation for the 2015 election — yet Mr Zhu had apparently never met Mr Minns. The cheque was not cashed.
Given the above one would think that the Inquiry would want desperately to hear from Zhu, but no.Instead the focus remains on Huang Xiangmo who has been effectively expelled from Australia. Any findings made against him will be worthless.



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