Hong Kong should bid for the Asian Games even if it loses money, an official said yesterday. Secretary for Home Affairs David Lan Hong-tsung said: 'We have figures about how much it would cost, but as it is a large-scale activity, it is important to Hong Kong. 'We think it's important to Hong Kong's future, to our sportsmen and international image. It's worth doing even if it would lead to a loss, according to initial estimates.' Mr Lan said critics should not consider economic returns alone. Hong Kong did not earn money from hosting the International Monetary Fund meeting in 1997, but it was important to Hong Kong. He said the Government would hire international financial experts to conduct an examination on economic, income and expenditure issues, and to look at sports facilities. However, Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming questioned the Government's attitude. Mr Lee said: 'It should do its best if it really wants to host it. 'However, its attitude seems to be that it does not wish to host the Games but only fears [vetoing it] might offend [someone],' he said. Democrat Andrew Cheng has suggested Tung Chee-hwa's support for the Games was linked to his friendship with political heavyweight and businessman Henry Fok Ying-tung, whose son is sports chief Timothy Fok Tsun-ting. Government information co-ordinator Stephen Lam Sui-lung discounted the claim. He said: 'The decision was a collective decision by Exco. It was not decided by any one individual.'