The decision to force former immigration chief Laurence Leung Ming-yin into retirement was backed by legislators yesterday, but they deplored the Government's high-handed approach in handling the case. After an eight-month inquiry, a Legislative Council select committee was unable to decide whether the sacking was politically motivated, but said it was unable to rule out the possibility. The committee said its lack of lawful authority and resources prevented a thorough investigation into newspaper claims that Mr Leung had passed confidential information to China. At an earlier hearing it was revealed that Mr Leung met senior mainland official Chen Zuo'er on the day he was told to resign. The Government also revealed that Mr Leung had an undisclosed mainland business venture with Preparatory Committee member Tsui Tsin-tong. After releasing the committee's 800-page report yesterday, chairman Ip Kwok-him said members regretted official attempts to mislead them and the public by claiming Mr Leung left for personal reasons. During his testimony, Mr Leung said he was told to apply for early retirement or be dismissed. But Mr Ip said they had not recommended legal action against any officials since it could not be prove they had deliberately lied. Nevertheless, the report said members unanimously believed the decision to force him to quit was 'reasonable' since the reasons given by the Government warranted serious disciplinary action. They included failing to repay a housing loan on time and failing to disclose business links and other interests. As a senior official in a highly sensitive position, Mr Leung's attitude and conduct meant he had to go. But members did not believe there were clear and compelling reasons for Mr Leung to be dismissed immediately last July. Chief Secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang refused to comment on the report until she had seen it, but said she had 'never intended to mislead legislators'. Secretary for Civil Service Lam Woon-kwong said officers who had appeared before the committee had never lied or sought to mislead members. But Mr Leung claimed the report was unfair in saying it was right for the Government to dismiss him immediately since it was clear some officials had clouded the truth. 'The committee has wasted taxpayers' money,' he said. The cost of the hearing was $1.23 million.