Date
23 October 2017
Timothy Tong, the former head of Hong Kong's anti-graft agency, has come under fire for arranging extravagant dinners and costly gifts to mainland officials. Photo:HKEJ
Timothy Tong, the former head of Hong Kong's anti-graft agency, has come under fire for arranging extravagant dinners and costly gifts to mainland officials. Photo:HKEJ

Timothy Tong may have damaged ICAC image: Legco panel

A Legislative Council panel has accused Timothy Tong Hin-ming of ignoring the principle of frugality and indulging in improper conduct during his five-year term as head of Hong Kong’s anti-graft body.

In a report released Wednesday, the Legco panel said Tong had failed to handle properly matters relating to hosting guests and giving gifts, and that he may have damaged the image of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

He sent out procurement order for some items four times without approval from the Chief Executive, the report said, according to RTHK. The gift procurement came as Tong arranged 35 work trips during his tenure.

But due to lack of details, the Legislative Council Select Committee failed to conclude whether Tong committed any wrongdoing in his official duty visits.

The report was endorsed by eight pro-government legislators while five pan-democratic lawmakers refused to sign it.

The five issued their own findings accusing Tong of neglecting his responsibilities. They said he had severely damaged the ICAC’s integrity and undermined the morale of his colleagues.

Dennis Kwok, who drafted the separate report, said the Legco Select Committee’s report has been “lenient” and that it tried to play down Tong’s responsibility.

Lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan said the pro-government legislators have intentionally hindered the investigation. The demand for calling several mid-level ICAC staff has been refused by the chairman during the hearing, he noted.

Tong, meanwhile, said the report has proved his innocence as he has not been charged with “corruption”. He continued to deny any wrongdoing for his lavish spending.

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JZ/MY/RC

Freelance journalist

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