Following is the transcript (English portion) of the press conference by the newly-appointed Commissioner, Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Mr Raymond Wong Hung-chiu, at the Central Government Offices this evening (August 4):
Reporter: Why do you think you were chosen for ... What would your priorities be?
Commissioner for ICAC: To be frank with you, I really don't know. There must have been a number of considerations, but it's very difficult for me to say. As regards future priorities, I need to understand a bit more about current priorities of the ICAC and various issues facing the commission before I can set out my own priorities. I think you have to give me a little bit of time for that.
Reporter: But will you be trying to improve your working relationship with the Police?
Commissioner for ICAC: As a matter of fact, the relationship between the ICAC and the Police has been very smooth. Of course we have our respective jobs to do. But the most important thing is that there is sufficient communication.
Reporter: Could you please clarify a question you answered a moment ago? What's your understanding of the terms of your appointment, whether you're seconded, whether you plan to return to the civil service?
Commissioner for ICAC: Actually I have not had a chance to speak to the Civil Service Bureau on the exact terms of my contract. But I am given to understand that in accordance with previous practice, I will be on secondment to the ICAC for a period of three years.
Reporter: If you are on secondment, is this not a suggestion, implicitly, that the position of the ICAC is being in some way - with no disrespect - diminished. Because in the past, commissioners were completely independent? Civil servants were out.
Commissioner for ICAC: As a matter of fact, as I understand it, previously some of the commissioners were also on secondment, for example, Mr Alan Lai. This is in accordance with past practice. I think there is nothing new in it.
Reporter: Only your immediate predecessor.
Commissioner for ICAC: This has always been the practice.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
End/Monday, August 4, 2003