(Bloomberg) -- A senior Hong Kong government official is expected to be pushed out for attending a large birthday party that fueled complaints of double standards by authorities enforcing Covid-control measures.
The city’s leader Carrie Lam has started procedures to oust Home Affairs Secretary Caspar Tsui, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a politician well connected with mainland Chinese authorities. This comes despite efforts by several pro-establishment figures to save Tsui, who had been sent to a government quarantine camp for being a close contact of one preliminary positive Covid-19 patient.
The Hong Kong government launched a disciplinary probe into the officials after they were found to be among the almosts 200 attendees at the party for the local representative of a mainland Chinese economic development agency. Some 30 officials attended the event on Jan. 3, even though the government had days earlier urged all residents to avoid large gatherings due to the global spread of th omicron variant.
At a regular briefing Tuesday, Lam said she plans to announce the results of the investigation before the start of the Lunar New Year and requested an extension of leave for Tsui until after the holidays.
The local government has been facing pressure from Beijing to “take swift action” against them, the SCMP newspaper reported Jan. 10, citing people it didn’t identify. Attendees included Financial Services Secretary Christopher Hui, Police Chief Raymond Siu, Immigration Director Au Ka-wang and Independent Commission Against Corruption Commissioner Simon Peh. The guests also included at least 20 of the 90 lawmakers elected in December to Hong Kong’s new opposition-free legislature.
This isn’t the first time top Hong Kong government officials have flouted the guidance they’ve asked members of the public to follow. In July, three Hong Kong officials -- including Au, the immigration chief -- were fined for attending a hotpot dinner that breached virus measures, inflaming resentment toward the government.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
BNN Bloomberg Picks
Gas prices down slightly from record highs earlier this week
Oilers and Flames' playoffs continue with millions of tourist dollars on the line
Farmers deal with most expensive crops in history
Amazon targets Calm, Headspace audience with a wellness podcast
In Your Debt: How debt-related stress affects body and mind
That bacon, chicken and beef won’t get cheaper anytime soon