Regina's example leaves Rosanna Wong red-faced

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 April, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 April, 2002, 12:00am


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The Secretary for Security chose an embarrassing example to explain the new accountability system yesterday, leaving Executive Councillor Rosanna Wong Yick-ming red-faced in front of 800 students.

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee pointed to the piling scandal two years ago, which forced Ms Wong's resignation as chairman of the Housing Authority, when answering a question from a schoolgirl on how incompetent officials would be dealt with under the new system.

The Federation of Youth Groups forum at the Academy of Medicine in Aberdeen was hosted by Ms Wong who sat near Mrs Ip on the stage.

Mrs Ip said: 'Although there was outcry from the public and legislators, saying those officials should step down or be held responsible, the government mechanism made it very difficult.'

'But under the new system, the Chief Executive will certainly consider public views . . . and we can be sacked. There will no longer be the unbreakable rice bowl,' she said without noticing that Ms Wong, sitting next to her, was blushing with embarrassment.

Mrs Ip went on: 'So, if our performances are too lousy, how can we stay put and not get fired?'

The Secretary for Security had been invited as a celebrity speaker to address the youths on the 'Asian economic miracle'.

Mrs Wong, who now heads the Education Commission, resigned after the legislature passed a no-confidence motion, condemning her and the Director of Housing Tony Miller over the scandal. Ms Wong stepped down before the motion debate but Mr Miller chose to remain in office.