Thursday, November 26, 2015   

$100m mistake

Eddie Luk

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

THE troubled

Harbour Fest concert cost taxpayers around HK$100 million, Financial

Secretary Henry Tang said last week.

Officials had earlier insisted that the bill would be much less, but

Mr Tang announced to lawmakers on Saturday that the event incurred

losses equal to the maximum amount the government had pledged it would


The government had already drawn fire for paying the HK$100 million

upfront to the organiser, the American Chamber of Commerce.

Adding to the controversy, the funds were handled by a holding company


owned by the chamber's chairman, James Thompson, and his wife.

Organisers said the holding company received no fees for handling the

money and the Thompsons did not profit.

The government said earlier it would appoint a panel to investigate.

The concert series also was marred by poor ticket sales and flip-flops

over the lineup.

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