The Civil Service Secretary has stepped in to calm a row between angry staff and a prominent legislator about whether salary cuts were justified. Joseph Wong Wing-ping said: 'I don't think the debate should go to such an extreme.' He was responding to grievances aired during an Internet forum over the remarks on pay cuts made by Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun. Civil servants have been infuriated by the business-affiliated leader's proposal that officials should share the economic pain by taking a 10 per cent pay cut. An Internet chat room sponsored by unionists has been flooded with anti-Tien responses. One user even urged colleagues to boycott the clothing chain store G2000, owned by Mr Tien's brother, Michael Tien Puk-sun. Unionists are to present all the responses in a petition to the Liberal legislator during the Lunar New Year, a move Mr Tien has already reportedly rejected. Mr Wong sought to calm both sides. Without naming Mr Tien, Mr Wong said: 'I hope people who criticise will not just judge the civil service from a profit-making or business point of view. 'I also hope our colleagues will be broad-minded enough to accept different views.' Debates on civil service matters, be they salaries, efficiency or structure, should be rational and constructive, he said after officiating at an exhibition on Customer Service Excellence.