The outgoing chairwoman of the Equal Opportunities Commission has called on the government to more readily accept the rights watchdog's values, rather than treating it as a liability. Anna Wu Hung-yuk, speaking for the first time since the government announced she would be replaced when her contract expires at the end of this month, said the government had to accept that although it provided the funding, the commission's job was to serve as a constitutional check on the administration. 'A mature government should respect and engage independent bodies in dialogue, even if they end up agreeing to disagree,' she said. Ms Wu was attending a summit in Morocco earlier this month when she was informed that her contract would not be renewed and that she would be replaced by retired judge Michael Wong Kin-chow. 'I did not ask what considerations led to the decision - it was the government's prerogative to decide and I was psychologically prepared for anything anyway,' she said. Ms Wu declined to comment on the reasons for her replacement, saying only that any appointment was a reflection of government policy. 'There has been tension in terms of our relationship with the government ... but in the end we had a very clear job to protect the vulnerable and whatever influence was sought did not thwart me,' she said. 'There will always be tension - if there isn't tension, I'm not doing my job right.' Ms Wu said she had several options in academic, legal and non-governmental fields to consider, saying she was likely to take up something non-governmental. It was unlikely she would re-enter private practice as a solicitor immediately. After four years at the helm, Ms Wu said she was happy with the mission and image the commission had created for itself. 'Ultimately, creating access for individuals to realise their full potential is an alleviation of poverty measure because you are equipping people to improve and be self-sufficient,' she said. 'I see the values promoted by the Equal Opportunities Commission sinking in among people in Hong Kong - that is an achievement.'