SCMP Saturday, June 24, 2000

Housing Authority chief resigns

CYNTHIA WAN


Updated at 5.10pm:
Housing Authority chief Rosanna Wong Yick-ming resigned on Staurday afternoon - on the eve of a no-confidence motion to be debated tomorrow in the Legislative Council following controversy over recent piling scandals.

Ms Wong, chairwoman of the authority, said she had resigned to Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, although Mr Tung had repeatedly asked her to stay.

''It is more tough to stay then to resign because if I were to stay, I would have to launch into a difficult reform of the system," Ms Wong said.

Her resignation was a "personal decision", she explained.

Ms Wong urged fellow authority members, especially those in the building committee (which is responsible for vetting the housing projects) to stay to ensure the body would continue to function properly.

The no-confidence vote motion was moved by Democrat Fred Li Wah-ming in the wake of the discovery of serious defects in the piling of a government rental housing project in Yuen Chau Kok, where two newly built 34-storey blocks had to be demolished at a cost of $250 million.

The vote will also decide the fate of Director for Housing Tony Miller.