Autocratic bureau 'will fail'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 June, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 June, 2002, 12:00am

The head of the housing, planning and lands bureau should resign if he refused to listen to the Housing Authority, which would be downgraded to an advisory body, an authority member said.

The call came as participants at a forum yesterday severely criticised a plan announced last week to merge the housing department with the new bureau and strip the authority of its decision-making power.

Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Michael Suen Ming-yeung is tipped to become secretary for housing, planning and lands.

At RTHK's City Forum, the Liberal Party's Ho Sai-chu, also an authority member, warned of an exodus of members if the Government refused to heed their advice on housing matters.

'If I continued to be a member and was repeatedly snubbed by the Government, I would definitely go because what's the point sitting here with nobody listening to me?,' he said. 'Public anger would smoulder if those representing grassroot people left one after the other because the Government would not listen to them . . . if the Government refused to listen, the bureau head will have to go.'

Mr Ho said the Government would consider the authority's formation carefully.

Both Democrat Albert Ho Chun-yan, chairman of the Legco housing panel, and Wong Kwan, a member of the authority, opposed the proposed revamp.

But deputy housing secretary Andrew Wells said the Government would listen, adding: 'Most of the things the authority does will have to get Legco approval.'