• Wed
  • Jul 30, 2014
  • Updated: 3:22pm


The MTR Corporation (its original full name was Mass Transit Railway Corporation) is listed on the Hong Kong Exchange and is a constituent of the benchmark Hang Seng Index. MTRC operates the Hong Kong underground rail system and is a major property developer and landlord in the city. It also invests in railways outside Hong Kong.

NewsHong Kong

Inquiry to look at role of top MTR management in rail link fiasco

Head of independent committee does not rule out interviewing chief executive Jay Walder

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 May, 2014, 11:46pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 May, 2014, 2:27am

The independent committee set up by the MTR to investigate the fiasco over the corporation's delay in finishing a high-speed railway insists it will probe the role of "top management".

Former government minister Frederick Ma Si-hang, who is heading the inquiry into how the MTR management handled the saga, said the committee would not rule out interviewing chief executive Jay Walder.

Speaking after the first meeting of the six-member committee, Ma said projects director Chew Tai-chong, whose early retirement was brought about by the scandal, had already been spoken to. Ma said the committee would also visit construction sites during the next two months ahead of completing a preliminary report. When asked if the team would investigate Walder's role, Ma said the scope included the "top management team".

Meanwhile, there is a greater chance the Legislative Council will next month pass a motion to invoke its special powers to investigate the two-year delay in completing the link between Hong Kong and Guangzhou. The government-friendly Liberal Party said it would probably support an attempt to invoke the Legco Powers and Privileges Ordinance to set up a select committee to probe the delay if the government did not set up an independent commission headed by a former judge.

Liberal leader James Tien Pei-chun said the decision would hinge on whether Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying took the party's advice to appoint a commission of inquiry to sort out who should be held accountable.

"A commission of inquiry, appointed by the chief executive, is the only way out. It can be headed by a retired judge, with the aim of sorting out the responsibility of each of the parties involved," said Tien. "If there is no concrete reply from the government it is very likely we will support the vote for a Legco probe next month."

As well as Tien, who is directly elected, the Liberals have four legislators representing functional constituencies. If they vote for a probe, the motion would stand a higher chance of passage as its biggest hurdle is the likelihood of defeat by lawmakers for functional constituencies.

Yesterday talk of a special probe was dropped from the agenda of Legco's house committee, which voted 31-29, with one abstention, to veto a bid by pan-democrats Wu Chi-wai and Gary Fan Kwok-wai to put such a motion on the agenda.



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This article is now closed to comments

his name pin ying Ma Si-hang, regardless of the real name sounds like horse poo row
All this fuss about a delay of 2 years. But it helps the 'government' of HK to stay away from addressing the real problems here.
Actually, that rather sickening photo of Fred Ma with Abraham Razack in the background says a lot about the seriousness of the so-called investigation.
John Adams
I agree !
Joke investigator, joke investigation
PS: But one must admit that the MTR is a pretty efficient means of transport in HK.
I use it every day and it's world-beating . So regardless of the hi-speed GZ express railway fiasco, we do have a world-class internal transport system in HK
PPS : And don't forget our wonderful trams as well !
Full marks to Veolia for brushing up on this alternative transport method.
A more interesting question might be, how much will people in this connected commission get paid to do the investigation? Do they get a lot of HK govt funds to do as they are told to, and are they being rewarded just for being part of the club, and do they need to give some kickback to the selection committee members who give them this job? Has the MTR delay thing turned into an additional opportunity to grab more money from another account? Hong Kong, China. Has been that way for at least 5 years. Surely the air and the graft is already there. Legco is a fake govt, where everything is "deliberated" for months, and then the original A==>B directive from Beijing is the final answer anyway. How much of the reason for existence of the "opposition" parties is just part of the smoke and noise makers to help the illusion of a HK govt? After each session, do both sides go to the dressing rooms and tell jokes about their performances that day, congratulating each other on "Yeah, that was awesome Long Hair (as LH is removing his wig), leaving a tird on the Legco entrance, I...I...couldn't stop myself from laughing...I had to cough". Then a few drinks inside the Legco bar and dinner at the ICAC dining room out of public view.
They are performing the investigation as part of their duties as independent non-executive directors of the MTRC. I don't think there is any additional pay involved.
The whole independent committee thing is just more "cover up" simply just because of the fact Frederick Ma is the one heading it..........he's been part of the government circle for too long to want to offend anyone in this whole fiasco so he's just gonna take a few months of time wasting away and then finally telling everyone that there is no particular one single person to blame...........he will say something like that there were unforeseen situations that caused the whole delay.
The HK government has no clue as to what an independent committee means............what a lame government.
That Whitewashers Brigade membership list in full: Fred Ma, Brian Stevenson, Abraham Razack, Alasdair Morrison, Edmund Ho and some woman whose name I forget but who definitely shows promise in attaining the "go along to get along" nirvana achieved by her five fellow investigators.
Ant Lee
This whole thing is just a joke (like everything else with HKSAR). HK govt putting "relationship guy" into investigations into this this multi-billion dollar mistake. If you have half a brain you would know this is just a show and no one in the end take responsibility. Yet, the HK govt will use all its resources and a few years to chase the little old guy who had been working (and earning a minimum wage) and contributing to HK for more 50 years for a few thousand HKD old age pension he is not longer qualified for because he lives in mainland China as he could no longer afford to live in HK.




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