• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 9:03am
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CORRUPTION

Lawmakers to condemn ex-ICAC boss Timothy Tong for 'deplorable' waste

Lawmakers all set to denounce in the strongest terms the 'deplorable' overspending by Hong Kong's former anti-corruption chief

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 November, 2013, 5:13am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 November, 2013, 4:49pm
 

Lawmakers are set to condemn former anti-corruption chief Timothy Tong Hin-ming in the strongest terms for his "deplorable" overspending.

A report to be submitted to the Legislative Council by its public accounts committee on November 27 will denounce Tong for "incompetency" after revelations about lavish spending on official entertainment, gifts and trips at the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

One member of the accounts committee said: "The report will pinpoint Tong's role as the graftbuster's former head. His lack of understanding of the rules and the breaches led us to question and condemn his incompetency in leadership and governance of the ICAC.

"We will be using very strong wording … including 'deplorable' and 'condemn'."

"Condemn" is the strongest wording used in earlier committee reports; more lenient criticisms included "regret" and "concern".

An 81-page report published by an independent review committee in September detailed 42 rule breaches by Tong in his five-year reign.

Members said that while the Legco committee had taken reference from the independent report, it would use the unprecedented term "deplorable" specifically over three breaches - making separate claims for alcohol and entertainment, buying luxury gifts and abusing duty visits for non-official activities.

The committee held its first public hearings in May, followed by a second round prompted by suspected discrepancies between Tong's Legco testimony and the independent report's findings. The committee held a final meeting on Friday.

The community relations department - the only one of the graftbuster's three departments that claimed alcohol expenses separately from entertainment - is also condemned, although its director, Julie Mu Fee-man, is not singled out.

"But the department and related ranks will [receive] adverse comments - although to a lesser extent compared with those for Tong," the lawmaker said.

Mu was criticised during the Legco public hearing for slack monitoring of Tong's expenses.

The member added that former assistant immigration director Dr Helen Chan Wing-mui - widely reported to be Tong's girlfriend - is also named in the report over allegations that Tong had taken her to official dinners sponsored by public money.

A second committee member said the word "condemn" was used about Tong mostly, "but once or twice when commenting on the community relations department". The lawmaker added that it was a unanimous decision to use "deplorable" in condemning Tong.

Some sections of the independent report were concealed in the public version, "pending conclusion of relevant criminal investigation or prosecution". It is understood that none of the Legco report will be concealed.

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John Adams
So Mr Tong will be 'condemned' for doing 'deplorable things' during his 5 - year reign.
But his government pension will presumably not be cancelled, unlike the cancellation of pensions for various other government employees who have been convicted by the ICAC for trivial offences which most of us would not even consider 'deplorable' , let alone 'condemnable'.
So it's one rule for those at the top and another rule for those at the bottom.
One can only wonder what D. Tsang was thinking when he appointed Tong, and then turned a blind eye to his conduct all those 5 years.
All this disgusts me ... and disgust is a much stronger word than deplore and condemn.
chuchu59
One or 2 breaches is understandable but come on its 42 breaches. I cannot believe for a second that a former head of the ICAC could be so ignorant of the rules. In wasting taxpayer's money for his own pleasure he can be branded corrupt and ICAC was set up for eliminating people like him.
chuchu59
Its not exactly correct to say there is one rule for the top and another for the bottom. Tsang Kin-man will not be having his pension and he is an Assistant Director. The government can only yank the pension if the court convicts a civil servant. Should TONG be convicted like Tsang the government could stop his monthly pension payments though his lump sum payment he got years ago will remain intact. So lets see if DOJ decides to go after him and if convicted he should lose monthly pensions amounting to over $100000 per month.
I agree fully that the word 'disgust' is more appropriate but then these words may be rarely used in these documents.
layleng
Take away his pension. Stop paying his kids' tuition. Put him in jail.
ninacheung
This guy's actions disgust me. My moral compass says he's not entitled to his pension after such gross abuse of his position and taxpayer's money.
daily
So well said..........just right on the point...........
Byebye
Disqualify him of his pension and all the perks, and he is to do community service for the years he served in ICAC.

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