Legislators yesterday voted down a motion urging the government to ensure the independence of statutory bodies. In a motion calling on the government to ensure the independence of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), the Office of the Ombudsman, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Frontier legislator Cyd Ho Sau-lan said various incidents had showed there was a risk that these bodies' independence might be compromised. Citing a few examples, including speculation that the EOC's status would be degraded because of its high-profile court case last year - which found the Education Department's secondary school allocation system was discriminatory - Ms Ho said the appointment and funding system of these statutory bodies should be changed. While a select committee comprising people from a wide spectrum of society should be formed to help propose suitable candidates - instead of solely relying on Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa to make an appointment at present - she said a long-term operating fund should be provided to these bodies to ensure that their operation would not be easily constrained by the government. Supporting the motion, Democratic Party legislator James To Kun-sun said there were worries about whether the ICAC could carry out an investigation into Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung's car-gate scandal impartially, given that all the members were appointed by the chief executive. Although Ms Ho's motion was supported by pro-democracy legislators, it sparked criticism from pro-government legislators who accused her of casting doubt on the bodies' independence. They said the motion would affect people's confidence in the operation of the statutory bodies.