Date
18 December 2017
Jay Walder has faced criticism over delays and cost-overruns in a high-speed rail project. Photo: Bloomberg
Jay Walder has faced criticism over delays and cost-overruns in a high-speed rail project. Photo: Bloomberg

MTR chief Walder will not renew contract next year

MTR Corporation’s chief executive Jay Walder will step down from his post after his contract expires in August next year, a top company official said Thursday.

“The agreement was made back in August last year, when his appointment was announced,” Chairman Raymond Chien Kuo-fung said at annual shareholders’ meeting.

The Hong Kong rail operator will kick off a global recruitment process for a successor soon, RTHK quoted the official as saying.

The announcement comes as the railway form faces harsh public criticism over delays and cost overruns in a high-speed express rail project linking Hong Kong and Guangzhou.

Walder is now facing calls to quit after a report submitted to the Legislative Council last week said he had stopped Secretary for Transport and Housing, Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, from disclosing information about the delay to lawmakers in November.

He took over as head of MTR in January 2012 after leading New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority for two years.

A dozen members of the Labour Party and the Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood (ADPL) staged protests outside the venue of the MTR annual meeting Thursday, saying the rail link project’s delay was unacceptable and calling for collective reassignment of senior management.

Chien said he believed the team was trying to do its best to serve passengers. He also expressed confidence in completing the high-speed project by 2017.

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JZ/RC

Freelance journalist

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