Job delay angers retired official

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 April, 2011, 12:00am


A retired marine official criticised the government for dragging its feet in screening his application for a job at a shipping company, claiming he is a victim of the authorities' overly cautious approach after the Leung Chin-man affair.

Patrick Chun Ping-fai, who retired as a Marine Department assistant director early last year, has been waiting for more than six months for Civil Service Bureau approval of his application to join casino magnate Stanley Ho Hung-sun's Shun Tak-China Travel Ship Management.

In an open letter yesterday, he called it: 'Another Leung Chin Man case but of the other extreme'.

Leung, the former housing chief, joined a New World Development subsidiary with the bureau's approval in 2008 but quit amid claims of a possible conflict of interest.

Chun said the delay had denied him his right to work. He accused the bureau of treating the granting of approvals 'like handing out favour or privileges'.

'It is unreasonable that a mistake committed by the [bureau] in Leung Chin-man case could be used as an excuse to ignore the relevant rules and regulations in exercising its authority in regulating the basic right of ex-civil servants to work after retirement,' Chun said. 'It is also ridiculous ... to suggest that taking more than six months to study a straightforward application is an attempt to find an appropriate balance.'

Secretary for the Civil Service Denise Yue Chung-yee - found by a Legislative Council investigation to have committed a 'grave error' in the Leung case - promised tighter rules on jobs for retired civil servants.

Yue told lawmakers last week that the government was still studying some legal concerns, citing two clauses in the Basic Law relating to freedom of choice of occupation and civil servants' benefits.

Last night a Civil Service Bureau spokesman said the bureau would not comment on an individual case. 'The authorities will follow the established procedures to deal with each application,' the spokesman said.