Top Hong Kong official resigns over birthday party fiasco

AP , Monday 31 Jan 2022

A top Hong Kong official resigned Monday for attending a birthday party with about 200 guests in early January as the city was battling a coronavirus surge.

Hong Kong
Construction workers use metal sheeting to cover up one of the last public tributes in Hong Kong to the deadly 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown which has adorned a campus footbridge at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) for over three decades, on January 29, 2022. AFP

At least one guests later tested positive, and Secretary of Home Affairs Caspar Tsui was among several officials and lawmakers ordered to quarantine after the party, which was held for Witman Hung, a delegate to China's legislature.

Tsui said in a statement issued Monday afternoon that he had not ``set the best example during the recent outbreak.''

At the time, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and health officials had urged the public to avoid large gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus.

``I made the wrong decision to attend a banquet on January 3 and behaved in an inappropriate manner when all efforts should have been devoted to controlling the spread of the virus,'' Tsui said.

``I will take responsibility for my actions, and I have therefore decided to resign from the position of Secretary for Home Affairs.''

Tsui's announcement came hours ahead of a planned news conference by Lam, who is widely expected to announce the results of a disciplinary investigation into officials who had attended the party.

Lam expressed disappointment at the behavior of the officials and lawmakers who attended, and ordered those in quarantine to be suspended from their duties.

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