A senior official at the Equal Opportunities Commission, who was appointed by former chairwoman Anna Wu Hung-yuk, has been sacked before taking up his post. Sources in the equal opportunities community informed the South China Morning Post that Patrick Yu Chung-yin, a former commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, was told by new commission chief Michael Wong Kin-chow not to take up his position as operations director. It is understood the commission offered Mr Yu two months' salary as compensation for rescinding the contract, which has him starting work next month. Mr Yu has not accepted. His appointment was announced in July, soon after it was revealed that Ms Wu's contract would not be renewed and that she would be replaced by Mr Wong, a retired Court of Appeal judge. But an equal rights activist said it was widely known that Mr Wong did not approve of Mr Yu's appointment, seeing it as an affront to his authority. Mr Yu would have reported directly to Mr Wong. A Post article on Mr Yu's appointment is also believed to have incensed Mr Wong, according to sources. Details are expected to be revealed in a press conference called by Mr Yu today. Mr Yu, who has a strong background in human rights, told the Post in July that he would help uphold the integrity and mission of the equal opportunities body. He hoped to share his considerable experience in racism issues in Ireland as the Hong Kong government consulted on its anti-racial discrimination bill. It is not known whether Mr Yu plans to take legal action against the commission for breach of contract. The controversy is the latest to plague the commission in the past two years. Last year the government was rumoured to be considering downgrading the body's top position from a directorate grade. The rumour sparked outrage among academics and NGOs, who said the commission appeared to be being punished for challenging the government over law breaches. Ms Wu's contract was renewed last year just days before it was due to expire, but only for one year, while the Home Affairs Bureau said it would conduct a review of the commission's functions. Speculation was rife that senior government officials did not want to see Ms Wu in the position after she mounted a successful legal challenge in 2001 to the government's secondary school place allocation policy as being gender biased. Ms Wu was replaced by Mr Wong, a relative newcomer in the field, on August 1 after four years at the helm.