Betty Fung tipped to head W Kowloon hub

Top News | Sophie Hui 9 Nov 2020

Veteran civil servant Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee, head of the Policy Innovation and Coordination Office, is a strong tip to become acting chief executive of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

This comes with Duncan Pescod, 61, leaving his job as chief executive of the multi-billion-dollar cultural hub on November 28 - nine months before his second three-year contract ends.

The authority has said it will recruit a new chief by an open and thorough global search but was seeking someone on secondment from the government in the meantime.

Fung, 55, who in her policy job reports directly to Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, is going to a topping-out ceremony of the Hong Kong Palace Museum in the cultural district this month. Now there is conjecture she will be there as the district's interim CEO.

Fung was involved in the early stages of the cultural district's development and helped Lam - who chairs the WKCDA - in the Palace Museum project.

She was the director of information services from July 2007 to August 2009 and then became director of leisure and cultural services until 2014.

For the Palace Museum project, Fung was a member of a core group along with Pescod helping prepare for its development.

Also in the group was Stephen Tang Man-bun, deputy director of architectural services, and Louis Ng Chi-wa, who was named director of the museum in August last year after previously serving as deputy director of leisure and cultural services.

In response to The Standard, The Civil Service Bureau told The Standard that officials were "carefully considering" a WKCDA request for an interim appointment arrangement.

Pescod is the third CEO to leave the controversy-wracked cultural project early.

It is understood he had not intended to resign early but was told the government wanted him to leave.

The cultural district is expected to incur a deficit of some HK$3.9 billion over the next three years.

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