Despite expectations that the ICAC would have a new chief late this month, commissioner Raymond Wong Hong-chiu has been invited to stay at the helm of the graft-busting agency for a few more months. The move to extend Mr Wong's term for 'less than a year' was to avoid changing a principal official in Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's administration before the chief executive election next March, government sources said yesterday. Principal officials, including the ICAC commissioner, are appointed by the central government. Mr Wong joined the Independent Commission Against Corruption on August 24, 2003, and his three-year term was due to expire this month. Permanent Secretary for Education and Manpower Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun had been expected to leave her job this month after eight years to head the ICAC. But the sources said Mrs Law's boss, Secretary for Education and Manpower Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, was also reluctant to let a key aide go before his own term was up. 'If I was Arthur Li, I would not like to have a big change in my aides when my minister's term only had one year left,' one official said. Many legislators had suspected that Mrs Law's expected move was a result of the political row over her remarks about teacher suicides, which sparked a protest rally. But the sources said that after five or six months, the controversy had died down and Professor Li was now reluctant to let her go. Speculation is now mounting over whether Beijing has reservations about appointing Mrs Law to the ICAC job. Her brother, Henry Fan Hung-ling, is an executive councillor and managing director of the blue-chip mainland-funded company Citic Pacific. The ICAC is understood to want a successor with a low profile and no strong business links.