Govt studies disciplinary action against all officials who attended birthday party, Secretary for Home Affairs may be forced to step down, sources

Secretary for Home Affairs, Caspar Tsui

8th January 2022 – (Hong Kong) Witman Hung, Deputy to National People’s Congress and Principal Liaison Officer for Hong Kong · Shenzhen Qianhai Authority held a birthday party for more than 170 people including top government officials such as police chief Raymond Siu and Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui at Reserva IbTérica Tapas Bar & Restaurant in Causeway Centre in Wan Chai on Monday (3rd). The massive party during this epidemic period has caused top government officials to pay a heavy price and many people were sent to Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre to undergo quarantine.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Carrie Lam issued a statement yesterday evening, instructing all officials under quarantine not to continue to perform their duties during the quarantine period and to use their own unpaid leave for quarantine. Regarding whether the action of 13 government officials at the birthday party violated discipline, she has instructed Eric Chan, Director of the Chief Executive’s Office, and Patrick Nip to investigate in detail.

Sources confirmed that the government is now studying strict handling of the scandal, and among the officials present, the case for Secretary for Home Affairs, Caspar Tsui is the most severe for two reasons. He was the only government official who stayed and dined in the restaurant for a long time, and the government needed the assistance of the Home Affairs Bureau for many anti-epidemic work.

As Secretary for Home Affairs, Caspar Tsui is the main anti-epidemic official. He absolutely knows the government’s anti-epidemic work and the current epidemic situation, including the government’s research on measures to reduce unnecessary outings and gatherings of citizens.

Sources said that the direction of the government’s investigation would be to examine in detail whether all officials were required to attend the party, how long they were there, and all activities during the party. The sources also revealed that the government prefers that all attendees should be punished and even disciplined, emphasising that everything will be dealt with strictly.

In addition, a political observer also pointed out that the Secretary for Home Affairs is in danger of stepping down. This incident shows that he did not have sufficient judgment and sense of crisis. The public will think that he is not focused on his work. According to the experience of the mainland, officials in similar incidents need to step down.