Date
19 August 2017
Frederick Ma is pushing back against claims the independent report on the high-speed rail fiasco is inadequate. Photo: HKEJ
Frederick Ma is pushing back against claims the independent report on the high-speed rail fiasco is inadequate. Photo: HKEJ

Panel finds Walder had poor judgment in rail fiasco

MTR Corp. chief executive Jay Walder and former projects director Chew Tai-chong did not conceal delays in the cross-border high-speed rail project but exercised poor judgment in not reporting them to the board of directors in a timely manner, Sky Post reported Friday.

The findings were announced by an independent committee which investigated the fiasco.  

Committee chief Frederick Ma said it is impossible to conceal delays in a massive infrastructure project and engineers usually find a way to catch up.

However, in the case of the MTR, attempts to find a solution proved futile as the difficulties mounted and became unmanageable, the report said.

Ma said Chew’s subordinates made regular reports on the delays but Chew himself failed to inform the board about the progress.

Walder will receive HK$8 million (US$1.03 million) for agreeing to step down one year ahead of his contract, the report said.

Legislator Michael Tien criticised the committee’s report as inadequate and demanded a more thorough investigation by the board.

Tien said management was given too much power by the board to a point where it lost control of the project.

Ma defended the report and denied Tien’s allegations.

Meanwhile, Apple Daily reported that former audit director Benjamin Tang and Permanent Secretary for Works Wai Chi-sing could be appointed to the MTR board.

When asked whether he would replace Raymond Ch’ien as MTR chairman, Ma said he never thought about it.

– Contact us at [email protected]

EL/AC/RA

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe