Hong Kong's Olympic committee election to be subject to government scrutiny

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 March, 2014, 4:28am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 March, 2014, 4:28am

Hong Kong's Olympic committee will come under government scrutiny when it elects its officers next week, after a period dominated by spats over the Sochi Winter Games.

Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing vowed yesterday to pay close attention to the annual general meeting of the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China on Thursday, when 14 officers will be elected.

Timothy Fok Tsun-ting will be uncontested when he seeks re-election as president, while nine candidates compete for eight vice-president seats.

The biannual election comes a month after Hong Kong's only Winter Olympian, speed skater Barton Lui Pan-to, lashed out at the committee for not providing him with medical staff.

The committee responded by claiming he was merely making excuses for his inability to win.

But Tsang's bureau, which oversees sport, waded in to the row, noting that the committee had vowed to provide voluntary medical personnel when it applied last year for government funding for the games.

In a Legislative Council meeting yesterday, Tsang said: "We will pay attention as to whether the election continues to be conducted in an open, fair and transparent manner.

"The government respects the committee's autonomy and independent operation, but at the same time will supervise effective use of public money."

Beijing-loyalist lawmaker Lam Tai-fai criticised Tsang for being "complacent" without finding out what went wrong. "If the government's mentality remains intact, sport development will go backwards."