Andrew Lam takes over from Bernard Chan at helm of antiquities board

Andrew Lam, who advised chief executive on land policy, leads the heritage board

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 January, 2013, 4:51am

A town planner who offered to quit the Antiquities Advisory Board together with Bernard Chan during the Government Hill controversy has been appointed its new chairman.

Andrew Lam Siu-lo will serve as head of the board for a term of two years with effect from January 1, the government announced yesterday.

Former chairman and Executive Councillor Bernard Chan declined to have his term renewed following a controversy about the future of the west wing of the government's former headquarters.

In June, when the government made an announcement to demolish the building, Chan was accused of collusion when he cast a tie-breaking vote which gave the 52-year-old west wing a grade two listing - meaning it was not safe from demolition.

Chan vowed to quit, but withdrew his resignation and agreed to remain until the end of his term after three members, including Lam, offered to resign in a show of support.

The government made a U-turn last month, announcing it would keep the west wing.

Lam, who has served on the board for six years, helped Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to formulate his lands and urban planning policy during the chief's election campaign.

He said yesterday he hoped the advisory board would take a more proactive role in advising the government how the heritage policy should be revamped in the next two years.

"I hope the board will be more than a party to be consulted.

"We can raise ideas and future directions of the policy for public discussion," he said.

During the Government Hill fiasco, the government disregarded the board's decisions when deciding the fate of the west wing.

The government also re-appointed 10 incumbent members and added 12 new members to the board yesterday.

Some of them are conservancy veterans Stephen Chan Chit-kwai, a director of the Conservancy Association and Philip Liao Yi-kang, the architect behind the restoration of the Bethany Church in Pok Fu Lam and the revitalisation of Lantau's Tai O police station into a heritage hotel.

Others include Karen Tang Shuk-tak, deputy director of Leung Chun-ying's campaign office and executive director of the Better Hong Kong Foundation, as well as former planning director Ava Tse Suk-ying.