Instead of having to make public apologies, Secretary for the Civil Service Denise Yue Chung-yee (right) should perhaps be given a big thank you by the people of Hong Kong.
After all, it was Leung Chin-man who, as director of housing, sold Hunghom Peninsula for a knockdown price to a consortium that included a New World Development subsidiary. And it was Leung who was employed by New World China Land after he left the government. Presumably, if the appointment were a show of gratitude and he'd not been allowed to take it, New World could have found some other, not so visible, way of expressing its appreciation.
In not preventing Leung from taking up his new position, Yue may have failed the government - by allowing a scandal to unfold - but she did a service to the city's taxpayers by letting us see how the system rewards a government official who has been munificent with our assets.