The outgoing chairwoman of the Equal Opportunities Commission spoke out yesterday at the government's last-minute decision to end negotiations over extending her contract, saying she was disappointed and unhappy. Patricia Chu Yeung Pak-yu said it reflected the administration's attitude towards the anti-bias body. The job of the EOC chairman should be long-term, she said. 'It is about changing attitudes and entrenched perspectives, and the body is very important in upholding human rights in Hong Kong and should be treasured,' she said. 'I believe that both locally and internationally people are watching Hong Kong and the EOC, and I must say I feel disappointed in the way this matter has been handled. 'If you ask whether I am disappointed and a little unhappy, I must say yes.' She said it would have been better if the government had given her more notice of the termination of her services 'so we could better prepare a transition'. But a spokesman for Home Affairs Secretary Patrick Ho Chi-ping said the government had offered Mrs Chu a seven-month extension to give the EOC time to implement the recommendations made by three reviews. Mrs Chu declined and the administration had identified a successor, he said. Mrs Chu, whose one-year term expired today, said she read of the government's intention to offer her the extension in a newspaper late last month before Home Affairs Bureau staff informed her. She said she asked for at least another one-year term to 'really enable me to do something for the EOC', but the government last Friday sent her a letter thanking her for her services and telling her the contract would not be renewed. The controversy-plagued body has not seen an easy transition of power since former chairwoman Fanny Cheung Miu-ching handed over to Anna Wu Hung-yuk in 1999. Ms Wu was told days before her initial three-year contract was due to expire in 2002 that it would be renewed for only a year. She was replaced last year by retired judge Michael Wong Kin-chow, who quit three months later amid a spate of scandals that erupted after his sacking of a senior officer. Mrs Chu was then appointed. Dr Ho's press secretary said the proposed seven-month reappointment was to allow the three reviews of the commission - a full internal review, a human resources review and an independent panel review of the scandals of last year - to be completed. He said the announcement of Mrs Chu's replacement could be made within days and the appointment would be for a longer term. It is uncertain if Mrs Chu will remain on the commission's board.