He says he did not discuss his daughter-in-law's test to become a specialist with a visiting assessor for the College of Surgeons Donald Tsang Yam-kuen yesterday defended his decision to dine with a visiting medical examiner on the eve of his daughter-in-law sitting examinations in March to become a paediatric surgeon. John Smith is an external examiner for the College of Surgeons of Hong Kong, which runs intermediate and final examinations for specialist trainees. Mr Tsang's son Simon is married to Vivian Mok, a surgeon who at the time of the dinner was to sit her oral exams, which are part of six years of specialist training. Mr Smith was reportedly involved in the assessment. 'I believe these professional bodies, with hundreds of years of history, would definitely not have their decision affected only because of one dinner,' Mr Tsang said. 'I also won't be so stupid as to infringe on their dignity and talk about my personal matters during the dinner.' It was not the first time he had hosted a dinner for the university doctor. 'I met and dined with him last year. He e-mailed me in March before coming to Hong Kong, hoping to dine with me [again],' Mr Tsang said. 'I was then the acting CE and I didn't want to dine out and attract attention, so I asked him ... home.' He said Mr Smith, of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, had proposed the dinner date. 'There were more than a dozen people there from various trades and we talked about development of medical services and the development of western and Chinese medicine,' Mr Tsang said. His son and daughter-in-law were not at the dinner and the exam was not discussed. 'I do not know whether John Smith knew my daughter-in-law was to take her exam the following day,' Mr Tsang said. The president of the College of Surgeons, Samuel Kwok Po-yin, said that measures were in place to ensure the impartiality of examiners. But he added that because of the incident the college would discuss whether there was a need to review guidelines for examiners. The chairman of the ethics committee of the Hong Kong Medical Association, Tse Hung-hing, said Mr Tsang's 'apparent invitation' to have dinner with an examiner 'is definitely improper'. Medical sector legislator Kwok Ka-ki said he did not think that one examiner could change the results. It is understood Dr Smith is one of a pool of 12 examiners. But Dr Kwok advised: 'If I were him I would like to avoid a conflict of interest.' Activist Tsang Kin-shing said he would discuss with his fellow democrats today whether to make a complaint to the ICAC. But Democrat James To Kun-sun, chairman of Legco's security panel, said while Mr Tsang could be questioned over his 'moral standard', it would be difficult to legally prove any corruption. 'If he claims it was only a casual dinner between friends, there is a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing. But the incident would of course bring Mr Tsang's low awareness about avoiding possible scandals into question.'