KCRC five refused to give up bonuses

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 April, 2007, 12:00am

Five senior KCRC executives were granted extra bonuses totalling over HK$1 million for their performances last year.

This was despite a dramatic feud between chairman Michael Tien Puk-sun and senior management.

According to the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation's latest annual report, chief executive James Blake and four top directors - Li Yun-tai, Lee Kang-kuen, Daniel Lam and Mimi Cunningham - received extra bonuses ranging from HK$5,000 to HK$440,000.

Mr Blake topped the group with an extra bonus of HK$440,000.

The Environment, Transport and Works Bureau said yesterday that transport minister Sarah Liao Sau-tung - also a member of KCRC's managing board - had advised the executives to give up the extra bonus because of possible negative public sentiment, but all five refused.

A bureau spokeswoman said they declined to return the extra bonuses because eight top KCRC executives - including the four directors - had collectively surrendered HK$1 million in bonuses for 2005 under the so-called variable remuneration scheme, introduced in 2004. Under the scheme, 20 per cent of an executive's annual salary is deducted and is only given back if he or she shows good performance. The executives gave up their 20 per cent for 2005.

The KCRC board this year decided to give back 20 per cent of their 2006 salaries to the five executives after a performance review, on top of the extra bonuses.

A KCRC spokesman said the bonuses were calculated according to a variable remuneration formula that was written into the contracts. The KCRC said the bonuses were subject to the board's approval, but according to the bureau, the board had no such discretion because of the contracts.

Democratic legislator Lee Wing-tat said the bonuses were unacceptable given the poor performance of the rail management last year, and vowed to raise the matter with Legco's rail merger committee.