An attempt by Democrats to allow legislators a say in the setting of the pay and employment conditions of the KCRC's chief executive officer was blocked yesterday. The legislature also vetoed the Democrats' proposal to make public the pay level of the chief executive officer. In a debate over the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (Amendment) Bill, Democrat Andrew Cheng Kar-foo said his party's moves were in line with the spirit of making the operations of the rail company more transparent. The KCRC is a government-owned statutory body. But Lau Kong-wah, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, argued that Legco should not intervene with the process of recruiting the chief executive officer. 'We are not an administrative body,' he said. Non-affiliated legislator Eric Li Ka-cheung, of the Breakfast Group, said the Democrats' attempt would in effect turn the KCRC into a government department. A deputy chairman of the Liberal Party, Miriam Lau Kin-yee, shared Mr Li's views and said: 'There is no such practice in other statutory public bodies like the Airport Authority or Hospital Authority. 'There is no reason to target solely the KCRC.' Details of the KCRC management team's pay packages - including club memberships, chauffeur-driven cars and the use of three yachts - supposedly confidential, were reported by newspapers last month. Legislators voted down the Democrats' proposals but endorsed a bill to separate the posts of chairman and chief executive officer at the KCRC. The chairman's position would be part-time with a monthly allowance of $30,000, according to the amendments. Both posts are currently held by Yeung Kai-yin, who left the civil service in 1993 to join the KCRC, which pays him between $6 million and $6.5 million a year. After the split, Mr Yeung's salary is expected to be cut. Speculation has been rife that the Government wanted to weaken Mr Yeung's power after a series of controversial decisions. After passage of the bill, Secretary for Transport Nicholas Ng Wing-fui agreed to consider reviewing the composition of the KCRC board to include elected public representatives and environmentalists to strengthen monitoring.