The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, and the Chairman of the Selection Board, Dr Leong Che-hung, met the media today (January 13) on matters concerning the appointment of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC). Following is the transcript (English portion) of their responses to a media question:
Reporter: Concerning the candidates, why Mr W K Lam was chosen? Is it because he was a former government official? Mr Raymond Tang has left his position already. So, how can you ensure the EOC runs smoothly without its leader?
Dr Leong Che-hung: The Selection Committee went through the whole process using an open, fair assessment process. I think our basis is purely on the fact of whether a particular person is suitable for the job and whether amongst all the candidates, he is the person whom we can propose for the Chief Executive's endorsement. I don't believe that there was any reason behind the fact that Mr Lam was a former civil servant that the Selection Committee chose him. We chose him entirely on his experience, on the way he presented his feelings about equal opportunities, his passion and of course his commitment to the whole thing.
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: We have assessed all candidates on the basis of their merits, and in advertising this position, we set out six criteria.
Firstly, the candidate should have a good general education. Secondly, he or she should have 15 years of relevant experience in a senior management position. Thirdly, there should be a strong commitment to promote equal opportunities. Fourthly, clear vision, impeccable integrity and good leadership qualities. Fifthly, a solid track record in either public or community service. And sixthly, strong language and communication skills.
As far as Mr W K Lam is concerned, we are confident that he possesses the necessary qualities to perform well as the new EOC Chairperson.
In the meantime, for the next two weeks or so, it will still be possible for the EOC to operate smoothly on a day-to-day basis. The senior management staff of the EOC have been given the necessary delegation of administrative authority to deal with day-to-day operations. The current situation that we have is actually not different from a serving EOC Chairperson going on leave for a short period.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript)
Ends/Wednesday, January 13, 2010