Controversial legislator 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung had his name put in the frame to become the next chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission yesterday - but only in jest. Fellow legislator James Tien Pei-chun reckoned Mr Leung would be the only person qualified to do the job under a government plan to split the chairmanship of the securities watchdog in two. The proposal calls for a non-executive chairman to be paid about $100,000 a year, as earned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing chairman Charles Lee Yeh-kwong, and a chief executive who is likely to receive an annual salary of $6.5 million, the same as current SFC chairman Andrew Sheng. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Frederick Ma Si-hang presented the proposal to the Legislative Council's financial affairs panel yesterday, saying it would bring the commission into line with other public bodies and overseas regulators. Although most legislators supported the split, Liberal Party chairman Mr Tien voiced concerns about finding someone to take the lower-paid job as they would not be allowed to hold any company positions or have any investments. 'I think only Long Hair, who has no properties and no other jobs, will fit the requirement,' Mr Tien joked. But Mr Leung had the last laugh last night, saying he had no interest in the job. 'I do not want to earn a fortune as I do not want to help those who want to make a fortune in the stock market. I am only interested in narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor,' he told the South China Morning Post. Another person who has ruled himself out of contention is former stock exchange chief executive Francis Yuen Tin-fan. The deputy chairman of PCCW said last night: 'Of course I will not agree to be the SFC chairman at just $100,000 a year. I need to earn a living.' Mr Yuen, who was in charge of the stock exchange from 1988 to 1991, said he had no problem about the split, but warned: 'Unlike in other public bodies, the SFC chairman is different, in that he is expected to upset almost everybody in the market. It must be someone who is reasonably paid, otherwise the post may be filled by some weak person who has little idea about the stock market and it will end up with just the chief executive running the commission.' Meanwhile, legislators agreed to invite Mr Sheng and the public to give their views to a financial affairs panel meeting on January 3, delaying the government's plans to submit the bill next month.