23 February 2019
Andy Tsang (inset) is eyeing a directorship with the parent of KMB for a reported HK$500,000 a year. Photos: HKEJ, CNSA
Andy Tsang (inset) is eyeing a directorship with the parent of KMB for a reported HK$500,000 a year. Photos: HKEJ, CNSA

Andy Tsang’s application for second job sparks criticism

The Civil Service Bureau is considering an application from former police commissioner Andy Tsang to work for a private company.

Tsang is seeking permission from the bureau to work as an independent non-executive director in Transport International Holdings (0062.HK), parent of Kowloon Motor Bus Co., from mid-March, with an annual pay of HK$500,000, Ming Pao Daily reports, citing a government source.

If approved, this will be his second job after he retired in May 2015.

Last year, the bureau agreed that he could join Chen Hsong Group, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of injection moulding machines, as an adviser with an annual pay package estimated at HK$1 million.

Civil service rules prohibit retired senior civil servants from taking any job in the first 12 months after retirement. They are subject to a two-year lock-up period after that and must apply for permission if they want to work in a private company within the period.

While Tsang does not violate the rules, the fact that he and Norman Leung, chairman of Transport International, go a long way back has sparked concerns over conflict of interest.

In response to an inquiry from Ming Pao, Tsang said he did not know Leung was the chairman of Transport International until he was asked to join the company. He called concerns over conflict of interest “pure nonsense” .

Transport International declined to comment on the matter. The bureau said it will strictly abide by the rules when giving its decision.

Democratic Party Lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting criticized Tsang for breaking his own promise not to enter the commercial industry.

He said a top official like Tsang joining a private company for big money, in addition to their handsome pensions, can create a bad public impression.

Civic Party leader Alvin Yeung said he is worried that some private companies are trying to gain knowledge of how the police operate by hiring retired officers and profit as a result. He urged the government to do a good job as a gatekeeper.

Yeung also called on Tsang to devote more of his rich experience and knowledge to help society.

An unnamed official said the bureau may not approve Tsang’s application due to potential conflict of interest.

Transport International’s major business, which is transportation, is under the jurisdiction of the police, news website reports.

Tsang receives a pension of more than HK$80,000 a month, about one-third of his pay of HK$260,000 before he retired in 2015.

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