Hints by Chief Secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang that she might resign would further heighten tension between her and Tung Chee-hwa, a Preparatory Committee member said yesterday. Professor Lau Siu-kai also said the statements showed disagreements between some senior officials and the Chief Executive-designate had reached crisis levels. But a senior government official sought to play down Mrs Chan's remarks, saying many senior figures were taking a 'wait-and-see' attitude towards their new boss. Mrs Chan hinted in an interview with Newsweek that she might resign if she had to implement decisions that went against her principles and conscience. Professor Lau said it was rare for the frustrations of senior officials over Mr Tung's work style and political stance to be aired in public. 'It shows some senior officials are sceptical over the integrity, capability and political orientation of the people appointed by Mr Tung,' said Professor Lau. 'They [the officials] are also worried about the loss of their decision-making power and the displacement of their positions in the future SAR. 'Furthermore, they might have to defend some indefensible policies.' Professor Lau said Mrs Chan's remarks would be received negatively in the pro-Beijing camp. 'This will further heighten tension between Mr Tung and Mrs Chan,' he said. 'It's not the first time these kinds of remarks have been made. Anson Chan has said earlier the provisional legislature has no credibility. The fact she said it again shows that the two sides are about to have a showdown,' he said. But he cast doubt on the effectiveness of Mrs Chan's warnings. 'That depends on how much support Mrs Chan has received from the senior civil servants,' Professor Lau said. Another Preparatory Committee member said: 'I don't think there will be any major problems if, say, Anson Chan resigns in a few months.' A senior government official admitted there was 'a little bit of apprehension' among senior officials that Mr Tung was not familiar with the culture and decision-making processes of the civil service.