A veteran buildings surveyor has been appointed interim managing director of the Urban Renewal Authority following the abrupt resignation of the previous incumbent amid a split in the statutory body's top management. Daniel Lam Chun, a non-executive director of the authority since 2008, will begin his 10-month stint on Monday, taking over from Iris Tam Siu-ying who quit last month. Tam cited "fundamental differences" with chairman Victor So Hing-woh on the URA's direction and warned the body against acting like a profit-hungry developer and sidelining its responsibility to benefit society. While an open recruitment exercise will be launched, the government yesterday announced that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying had appointed Lam, 69, temporarily until a new managing director is found. "Lam has indicated that he will not apply for the position of managing director and will not join the URA board as non-executive director again after cessation of the current appointment," the announcement read. Until recently Lam was the executive director of Recas Strategic Development Investment Management. While Company Registry public records as of yesterday showed Lam was a director of seven companies, he said he had already resigned from those positions and was waiting for the records to be updated. Wu Chi-wai, a URA non-executive director, said Lam's pledge not to put his name forward as a candidate in the open recruitment exercise would help dispel any public concern over unfairness in the selection process. "However, the government needs to explain why it had decided against appointing one of the managing director's two deputies, which would be the usual practice," Wu added. Another non-executive director, Alice Mak Mei-kuen, said she hoped Lam would not just act as a caretaker and leave thorny issues for his successor to deal with. "There are controversial projects such as Central Market revitalisation and he should avoid dragging them on," said Mak, referring to one high-profile project that is likely to have its budget cut. Lam was property director of railway operator KCR between 2000 and its merger into the MTR Corporation in 2007. He was Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors president from 1986 to 1987.