Date
18 December 2017
Maria Tam will head the ICAC operations review committee and sit on its advisory committee. Photo: HKEJ
Maria Tam will head the ICAC operations review committee and sit on its advisory committee. Photo: HKEJ

Tam ICAC appointment sparks political backlash

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is facing a political backlash over his appointment of a pro-Beijing figure to a top post in Hong Kong’s anti-corruption watchdog.

Maria Tam Wai-chu, a deputy to the National People’s Congress, was appointed on Friday to head the operations review committee of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

Tam, who is also a member of pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, was also named to the advisory committee.

Democratic Party chief executive Lam Cheuk-ting, who had led ICAC’s investigations, said he was shocked by Tam’s appointment, Apple Daily reported Monday.

Some legislators saw the appointment as a violation of the ICAC’s neutral political stance.

They said the appointment of a pro-establishment politician puts the independence and impartiality of the review committee in doubt.

In recent years, several Leung allies have been reported to the ICAC for suspected corruption.

Tam has been a member of the committee since 2009 and is close to the six-year term limit.

Her appointment means the term limit will be lifted and suggests her long-time control of the committee, the report said.

Democratic Party legislator James To urged the government to withdraw Tam’s appointment, saying her past statements showed political bias incompatible with her new role.

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TL/MY/RA

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