War on corruption 'will get tougher'

HONGKONG needs to prepare to fight an anticipated increase in corruption around 1997, the new head of the ICAC's main advisory panel said yesterday.

Executive Councillor Professor Felice Lieh-Mak has been chosen by the Governor, Mr Chris Patten, to be chairman of the Advisory Committee on Corruption (ACOC), which advises the ICAC on policy issues.

Professor Lieh-Mak said she was concerned that there would be more corruption in both the public and private sectors before and after the 1997 transition of power.

''It's a worry that, in fact, it will increase, considering the amount of corruption that is occurring across the border,'' she said.

But she added: ''On the other hand, we have to give regard to the Bill of Rights.'' Professor Lieh-Mak replaces Dr Daniel Tse Chi-wai, who spent five years as chairman of the ACOC before retiring last year.

Professor Lieh-Mak also said it was very important that the ICAC found a new commissioner as soon as possible to replace Mr Peter Allan, who collapsed and died during an ICAC fun run.