Patrick Yu accuses commission chief of 'unjust and harsh treatment' and calls for a public explanation of his actions An Equal Opportunities Commission officer who was sacked before taking up his post yesterday demanded a public explanation from the body's chairman. Patrick Yu Chung-yin claimed he was wrongfully dismissed through 'harsh and unjust treatment' by commissioner Michael Wong Kin-chow, who told him he could not take up the position of director (operations). He had been appointed by former chairwoman Anna Wu Hung-yuk. Mr Wong initially refused to meet Mr Yu, who made a special trip to Hong Kong from his home in Ireland to meet the incoming chairman, who started his term on August 1. A day before Mr Yu was to fly back to Ireland, Mr Wong called a brief meeting with him. 'During our only 10-minute meeting, Mr Wong said to me: 'Your appointment is pre-empting my appointment. I will be the chairman for the next three years. I am not going. It is you that is to go',' Mr Yu said. Mr Yu - a former commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission - received a verbal offer of employment in May after being selected by a panel of four commission members and Ms Wu. But his appointment was not announced until July 17, after he had sorted out matters at the Irish commission and Ms Wu returned from overseas trips. The announcement was published in the South China Morning Post the next day, along with an interview with Mr Yu. It was this article that Mr Yu claims Mr Wong cited as one reason why he was not suited for the job. In the interview, Mr Yu said he would uphold the integrity and the mission of the equal opportunities body and hoped to share his expertise in dealing with anti-racism laws as Hong Kong prepared to enact its own. 'But Mr Wong said it was not my job to be making such comments to the press,' Mr Yu said yesterday. 'He also said the EOC was not a law-drafting body and it was not my job to draft the anti-racism law. I do not think I overstepped my boundaries at all and the interview had been arranged by EOC staff with Ms Wu's permission, but I had no chance to explain or rebut his accusations.' After Mr Yu returned to Ireland he was contacted by the commission's director of administration and planning, Michael Chan Yick-man, who asked him about the possibility of remaining in his present job in view of 'the differences of views and approaches with the chairman'. A few weeks later, he was offered two months' pay with benefits amounting to $150,000, but declined the offer. Mr Yu would not say if he would have accepted a higher offer, saying he had yet to seek legal advice on the matter. 'He gave no valid reasons for terminating the contract - Mr Wong's arbitrariness violates rules and procedures relating to natural justice,' Mr Yu said. 'The credibility and the independence of the commission depend on its transparency and public accountability. This is a public body with collective responsibility, not dictatorial powers. Mr Wong owes the public an explanation.' The commission confirmed it had terminated Mr Yu's contract but would not comment further. 'As there may be legal proceedings, it is inappropriate to make comments at this stage,' it said. 'This does not affect the work of the EOC, and the commission will not comment further on the matter.' Mr Yu is due to return to Ireland but said he would continue to take an interest in Hong Kong issues, including the enactment of an anti-racism bill. 'I had hoped to bring my experience and expertise in the field to make a contribution to Hong Kong, but Mr Wong has made it impossible for me to do that through the Equal Opportunities Commission,' he said.