Exactly what do economics, karaoke, housing policy and accounting have to do with the arts? Apparently, the government believes that people from these fields can offer the best advice for arts development. Critics lamented yesterday's appointment of the Advisory Committee on Arts Development, covering both performing arts and visual arts, as well as taking over the existing committee on performing arts and the funding committee for the performing arts. They said the 'disturbing' list of appointees showed the government had little sincerity in promoting the development of arts and culture in Hong Kong. Committee chairman Chung Shui-ming is a former Exco member and the chairman of the Hong Kong Housing Society. Kelly Chan Yuen-sau, financial controller of Moet Hennessy Diageo Hong Kong, is the past president of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Hong Kong. Lam Pun-lee is an associate professor at the Polytechnic University's accounting and finance school. Of the other members, Stella Lee Wai-fun studied fashion and design and is a financial expert and an executive committee member of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association; Cecilia Leung is Dragonair general manager for inflight services; while Ernie Suek Ka-lun, often romantically linked with starlets and young models, is the chairman of Neway karaoke. 'This is the biggest Halloween horror show,' said art critic Mathias Woo Yan-wai, questioning why those who have been serving on the performing arts committee such as veteran Darwin Chen, and Arts Development Council chairman Ma Fung-kwok, were not appointed. 'This is outrageous. This appointment ends the continuity of the work done by veterans. They are imposing these finance people to control the arts,' said Woo. Art critic Oscar Ho Hing-kay described the appointment as sickening and disturbing. He said the limited number of appointees from the arts, such as Harold Mok Kar-leung, chairman of the Chinese University's fine arts department, pianist and radio programme host Nancy Loo, dancer Mui Cheuk-yin, Hong Kong University professor Dorothy Ng Fung-ping, who has vast interests in researching Cantonese opera, cannot cover all of the arts community. 'What is the rationale behind this appointment? What about representatives from the contemporary art world and theatre?' Ho asked.