The Transport Branch yesterday confirmed speculation that it wants an ethnic Chinese to head the KCRC. Chairman and chief executive Kevin Hyde announced he would step down last week, citing personal and family reasons. He rejected claims he was removed because of localisation or the recent political controversy over the Western Corridor Railway. A Transport Branch spokesman said a headhunting agency was being consulted to find a replacement 'fluent in Chinese with local knowledge'. He said the position was being advertised locally and overseas. It becomes vacant in December. Legislative Council transport panel member Albert Chan Wai-yip was not surprised by the announcement. He believed localisation was one of the reasons Mr Hyde choose not to renew his contract, worth $5.5 million last year. He rejected Mr Hyde's explanation for his departure, calling on the administration and the corporation to reveal the truth. 'It is quite understandable they want to bring in a local as [the Transport Branch] has been under pressure in the past few months,' he said.