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Old March 5th, 2006, 02:41 AM   #1341
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The design is quite disappointing.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 03:14 PM   #1342
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Old March 6th, 2006, 05:29 AM   #1343
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being such a crucial station as a terminus for the GZ-SZ-HKG link
i thought they could of tried something more unconventional ...
at least they left the land beside it empty for mixed use
lets hope the edge facing canton road could integrate west kowloon with tst
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Old March 6th, 2006, 06:19 PM   #1344
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Hong Kong'S MTR Corp 2005 net profit seen up 37 pct - Kim Eng
6 March 2006

HONG KONG (XFN-ASIA) - Kim Eng said it forecasts MTR Corp to report tomorrow a 2005 net profit of 6.15 bln hkd, up 37 pct from the previous year, primarily driven by increased profits from the property development business and higher earnings from railway and related operations.

"We estimate property development profits at 6.20 bln hkd, up 36 pct, arising from sales of the Arch at Kowloon Station, recognition of deferred income relating to Harbour Green at Olympic Station, Caribbean Coast, Coastal Skyline and a hotel project at Tung Chung Station," the brokerage said.

It added that the company's railway and related operations have also performed well.

"Patronage of MTR Lines and Airport Express Line increased 3 pct and 6 pct respectively. This, and modest increases in average fares per trip underpinned our estimated 5 pct growth in fare revenue," it said.

Kim Eng said station, commercial and other revenue should rise 17 pct year-on-year to 1.54 bln hkd, and rental income will have grown 20 pct to 1. 33 bln hkd.

"Overall, forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from railway and related operation rose 15 pct year-on-year, with EBITDA margin improving to 57 pct from 2004's 54 pct," it noted.

The brokerage said it has raised its target price on the stock to 19.85 hkd, representing 5 pct premium to its forward net asset value estimate, and is maintaining its 'buy' call.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 03:20 AM   #1345
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MTR Corp. profit jumps on Hong Kong fares, property

HONG KONG, March 7 (Reuters) - Railway operator and developer MTR Corp. Ltd. posted 2005 earnings on Tuesday that beat expectations thanks to higher fare revenue and brisk apartment sales in a booming Hong Kong economy. Many analysts are keen on the company amid hopes of a fruitful end to drawn out talks on a merger with Hong Kong light railway firm KCR Corp., and proposed projects in mainland China. But after a steep climb this year, the stock is seen as expensive.

MTR Corp, which is 76.4 percent owned by the Hong Kong government but pays for new railway lines by building apartments above its stations, posted an underlying net profit of HK$6.14 billion for the year to Dec. 2005, up 36.7 percent from the previous year.

A survey of 10 analysts by Reuters Research made a consensus net profit forecast of HK$5.6 billion.

Analysts say average travelling distances increased in 2005, partly because of a new railway line to the Hong Kong Disneyland entertainment park.

MTR Corp. said patronage rose three percent in 2005 to 867 million passengers, and fare revenue increased 5.9 percent to 6.28 billion.

The company also benefitted from a craze for luxury apartments early in 2005, when its The Arch project, developed with Sun Hung Kai Properties , sold 900 units in weeks. Property development profit jumped 34.6 percent to 6.15 billion.

MTR also booked a gain of HK$2.31 billion for marking the company's property assets to market values, to comply with new accountancy rules, which were not in place in 2004.

That helped boost net profit to HK$8.45 billion, against a restated HK$6.54 billion in 2004.

MTR Corp. shares were trading at HK$17.10 each at Tuesday's market close. The stock fell 0.87 percent on the day, but is up 13.4 percent this year.

Credit Suisse analyst Gary Chan has an "outperform" rating on the stock, with a target price of HK$19. He cites bids for projects in China and Britain, and a potential merger with KCRC as possible profit growth drivers.

Macquarie Securities analyst Anderson Chow has a target price of HK$18.20, and says the most important pending project for the firm is a rail and property development job in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, which is waiting government approval. (US$=HK$7.8)
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Old March 8th, 2006, 01:44 PM   #1346
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MTR News Release:
MTR Choi Hung Park-and-Ride Carpark to open with 50% discount for communters taking MTR
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Old March 8th, 2006, 05:01 PM   #1347
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I believe there is a park and ride trial going with KCR right now. I'm not quite supportive of encouraging driving to the train station. However, their target market is low density and not too well-served by transit so I guess every bit of convenience helps.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 06:25 AM   #1348
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Rail job cuts likely after merger: Liao
9 March 2006
Hong Kong Standard

Middle-ranking and senior managers of Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp and MTR Corp might lose their jobs under the government's proposal to merge the two mass rail operators, the transport chief said.

But Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao insisted for the first time Wednesday that "frontline staff would not be laid off" in the likely event of a merger.

Addressing the Legislative Council's weekly question-and-answer session, she said other jobs might not be secure because "the government should not control the operators too tightly."

However, Liao said the affected staff might gain from the business opportunities created as a result of the merger, saying "the greater the economic scale, the greater the business opportunities," especially in the mainland and overseas.

The government has promised to consult with the staff _including the five unions representing them _ in case the KCRC and MTRC do finally link up.

But Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Cheng warned that the uncertainty is affecting the morale of middle and senior management, who he noted are important for the safety and services of the two railway companies. "Can they [the staff] be told earlier?" asked Cheng, who argued that informing them in advance would "be better from the viewpoint of operations efficiency and minimizing train disruptions."

While admitting the present situation is causing a psychological impact on management-level staff, Liao said: "I'm not the one who can decide [on the merger]."

Although the government hoped to see a merger, "we cannot give a deadline for negotiations," she said, because it involved the interests and finances of both companies. MTRC _ though majority-owned by the government _ is a listed company.

The government first decided to merge the two rail operators in 2004, but has encountered various hurdles, notably the KCRC's financial problems.

Asked about the schedule for the link-up last month after presenting his budget, Financial Secretary Henry Tang said: "The government will keep reviewing what's the appropriate asset to sell. It depends on the market situation _ we don't want to sell cheaply."

Tang added that, since the government's financial situation is improving, it's now less urgent than during the downturn to sell public assets.
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Old March 10th, 2006, 06:00 AM   #1349
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Fresh cracks found on KCRC trains 'within safety standards'
10 March 2006
South China Morning Post

More cracks have emerged in components on KCRC trains, but the railway says they are within normal safety limits and there is no need for public notification.

Some hairline cracks found earlier have enlarged but the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation says the increase is "minimal" and does not pose a risk.

The new fractures have been found in two major components - alternators and compressors - which were at the centre of January's safety scare.

A KCRC spokesman denied media reports on Wednesday that some cracks had grown by up to 25 per cent to as long as 10cm. He insisted the increase was "minimal" but did not give details.

"Our Acting CEO, Samuel Lai Man-hay, has already said in the Legco transport panel last month that it is just normal that more cracks will be found, and they all fall within the safety standard," the spokesman said.

He said cracks reappeared in two particular components because of extra vibration of the parts themselves.

Chinese University engineering expert Lo Kok-keung said it was possible for a hairline crack to reach 10cm within two months, but he believed such a development posed little threat to the railway's safety.

"Vibration only increases the length of the cracks on the surface, which is normal, as long as it falls within standards," he said.

If the cracks were deep, there was a possibility the component could fall off the train but this was now unlikely as the KCRC had installed metal cradles and industrial belts to reduce stress.

Legislative Council transport panel member Andrew Cheng Kar-foo called for more frankness from the KCRC.

"[The KCRC has] not yet found out the cause of the fractures, and now the cracks are growing," he said.

"The less transparent you are, the more the public will worry about the effectiveness and the quality of the train service."

A spokeswoman for the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau said it had not received any report on fractures on the KCRC's trains that might affect the safety of the railway.
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Old March 10th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #1350
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MTR News Release:
New Entrance at MTR Choi Hung Station Opens this Saturday
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Old March 11th, 2006, 02:20 AM   #1351
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Wow, this thing is pretty bad....
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Old March 12th, 2006, 03:57 AM   #1352
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九鐵25高層逼宮 田北辰不辭職
2006年3月12日






【明報專訊】九鐵面臨有史以來最嚴重的管治危機。以署理行政總裁黎文熹為首,連同高級行政階層內全部5名總監及19名總經理,日前在毫無聲色下突然發動「兵變」,矛頭直指主席田北辰在九鐵內「管得太多」、「要求透明度過高」和「過多問責」,繼而再在兩日內迅速收集八成員工逾4000個簽名,向管理局施壓,據悉,田北辰暫時沒有打算辭職,但在日內將交代與行政階層的分歧。

特首晤田 廖秀冬急返港

事件已觸動政府高層關注,特首辦發言人證實,行政長官曾蔭權昨日已跟田北辰會面,了解事件,但未有透露詳情。據本報了解,曾蔭權已下令原本在日本公幹、周二才返港的環境運輸及工務局長廖秀冬縮短行程返港處理事件,廖已在昨午返抵本港。政府亦發表聲明,表示極度關注事件,正加以調停,並希望各方以市民利益為依歸 ( 詳見另稿 )。

據本報從多方取得的消息,「兵變」以署理行政總裁黎文熹為首,連同高級行政階層內全部5名總監及全部19名總經理聯合發動。現時九鐵的管理委員會內,在黎文熹之下有5名總監,包括在裂痕事件中被指通報緩慢的運輸高級總監李殷泰等人 ( 詳見圖 ) 。

消息指,黎文熹3日前 ( 上周四 ) 去信管理局,表達對管治問題的意見,同日各總監及總經理亦分別聯署兩封致管理局的信件,表示支持。知情人士形容,事發毫無徵兆,事前連「一句招呼也沒有打過」。田北辰曾就信件詢問黎文熹的要求,黎文熹直言希望田北辰離開。

不滿兩鐵合併未為員工爭權益

綜合各方面消息,事件的起因,除高級行政階層不滿田北辰管轄範圍過大、要求過多透明度及進行過多的問責,深層原因是擾釀兩年多的兩鐵合併問題。據知,九鐵行政階層曾就合併後職位問題多次向田氏提出,要求政府公開承諾會公平挑選兩鐵員工,惟一直不得要領。行政階層又指田氏在合併討論中未有大力為員工爭取權益。田氏不止一次向黎文熹表示,部分高級行政人員需要撤換,亦直接觸動有關高層。

九鐵多名高層行政人員包括黎文熹等,昨晨曾召開特別會議商討事件,田北辰並無出席。一名高層人員向本報記者透露,黎早已對田氏的處事手法感到不滿,但為免引起雙方的矛盾,重演當年田北辰與前行政總裁楊啟彥不咬弦的「困難」局面,黎一直採取容忍態度,只是「忍也有個底線,到某一程度就忍無可忍」。

黎文熹不滿處事 忍無可忍

該位人士指出,田北辰採用的「責難文化」,令員工壓力增加,士氣低落,他亦知道這個情,並時常跟行政階層討論,但卻無改善。雖然黎文熹發予管理局的信中,以至管理層、經理及員工聯署的信件,字眼上都沒有「倒田」的字眼,但員工之間的訴求十分清晰,「若結果是主席走 ( 辭職 ),會更加好,這是員工心目中的訴求」。

田北辰至昨日仍未公開回應事件。據本報得悉,田氏計劃在適當時間才表態,包括直接承認與行政階層出現分歧。至於去留問題,則交由政府決定。

有接近田北辰的人士分析,倘高級行政人員希望藉此為自己在兩鐵合併後爭取條件,是「打錯算盤」,因為估計事件令政府高層警覺,可能換來加速整頓九鐵,高層人員在合併之後前途令人懷疑。

九鐵發言人昨日接受查詢時強調,事件屬於九鐵內部事務,管理局正在處理有關信件,亦不會影響日常列車服務。
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Last edited by hkskyline; March 12th, 2006 at 04:06 AM.
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Old March 12th, 2006, 06:56 AM   #1353
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地鐵開源推奇招 立體廣告車啟程
3月 11日 星期六 05:05 更新



【明報專訊】地鐵又為增加廣告收入出「奇招」。由周日(12日)開始,一個長達12米的立體展覽箱,將由多部工程車拉動,穿梭各條行車線,在非繁忙時間充當流動廣告列車。地鐵強調,載客列車班次不會受影響,地鐵亦安排兩名列車司機駕駛工程車,而出現故障影響正常服務的機會甚微。

不過地鐵表明,由於鐵路營運部分目前仍處於虧損,即使流動展覽箱為地鐵帶來額外廣告收益,亦沒有減價空間。根據地鐵最新公布的業績,去年全年的廣告收入達5.1億元,較2004年上升9.2%。

指全球首創 非繁忙時段行駛

號稱全球首創的立體廣告列車,分別由3部工程車及一個安裝有立體展覽箱的車卡組成。地鐵市務及車站商務總經理楊美珍表示,該列車由周日起,一連3個星期在4條市區鐵路線,即港島線、荃灣線、觀塘線及將軍澳線行駛。

為免影響原有的載客班次,廣告列車會安排於早上11時至下午4時的非繁忙時段行駛。3部以電力驅動的工程車均可單獨行駛,每次行車則會由2名車長負責。

為確保安全,展覽箱會採用強化玻璃,車箱內的物件亦由纜索鞏固,及塗上防火油。楊美珍形容,有關列車已獲政府的鐵路視察組批准行駛,發生問題的機會更是「近乎零」。

周日起試行 最快5月登場

楊美珍又說,列車首次行駛時,展覽箱內會放置由本地藝術家王天仁利用卡板創作的鱷魚和水牛,日後會用作廣告用途。她透露,現時已有4至5名客戶表示有意採用立體展覽箱推銷產品,推廣費用暫訂為每星期數十萬元,估計會獲大型廣告客戶垂青。若試驗效果理想,首卡正式披上廣告的列車,最快5至6月登場。
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Old March 12th, 2006, 07:39 AM   #1354
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Does anyone know which station this is in?
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Old March 12th, 2006, 08:17 AM   #1355
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfgadv02
Does anyone know which station this is in?
This is Choi Hung Station.
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Old March 12th, 2006, 09:15 AM   #1356
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Yesterday and Today's RTHK News:
4000 staff urge KCRC to look into corporate governance problems

Michal Tien urges brother to quit KCRC post


--What a nightmare for Michael Tien!
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Old March 12th, 2006, 11:41 AM   #1357
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Very latest news from the RTHK:
KCRC Chairman resigns 2006-03-12 HKT 16:57

K-C-R-C Chairman Michael Tien has resigned from the railway company. This comes after the railway operator's acting Chief Executive, Samuel Lai, wrote to the board expressing concern about how the corporation was being run under Mr Tien. About 4,000 employees -- including five directors and 19 general managers -- signed a petition endorsing Mr Lai's comments. Mr Tien said he didn't want the divisiveness within the KCRC to affect the company or its passengers.
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Old March 13th, 2006, 02:34 AM   #1358
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Tien resigns amid feud
Michael Ng, Carrie Chan in Beijing and Wendy Leung
Hong Kong Standard
Monday, March 13, 2006

In a major blow to the administration that has left Chief Executive Donald Tsang shocked and angry, Kowloon- Canton Railway Corporation's Michael Tien quit as its chairman Sunday.

However, the government was last night making a last-ditch bid to persuade Tien to withdraw his resignation.

The feud between Tien and his fellow KCRC directors over his management style came to an abrupt end Sunday as Tien said he quit for the "sake of KCRC and, most importantly, the sake of community and passengers."

"I don't want this divisiveness to continue," Tien said in a press briefing Sunday afternoon.

"I look at a broader picture, and I did not want to see a crisis that may lead to our train services coming to a halt, or the prestige of the government being adversely affected.

"I know I have some supporters. But with things becoming divisive, I made a decision on Saturday morning. I met with Chief Executive Donald Tsang and handed in my letter of resignation."

The Chief Executive's Office said in an official statement Sunday night that Tsang was gravely concerned over the controversial resignation.

"The government hopes the chairman and management can strengthen their communications and, taking into account the interests of the public, to resolve their differences," the statement said. But it did not say whether Tsang had accepted Tien's resignation.

With the KCRC managing board now set to arrange a special meeting some time this week to discuss Tien's resignation, the
source said the government was trying to do everything it could to persuade Tien to stay in his post. "We're still vigorously trying to mediate in the row between KCRC's senior management, its 4,000 frontline staff and its chairman," the source said.

According to the source, the government is well aware of the strong resistance from senior management to Tien's transparent style of management, while Tsang was also "shocked and dismayed" at the corporation's senior management for forcing Tien to quit.

The source said Tsang was also worried the coup could set a bad example for other government statutory bodies in future.

Liberal Party chairman James Tien, who is attending the annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, pledged support for his brother's decision.

James Tien had earlier asked his brother to cool things down and let Tsang handle the issue. "Michael told me about the campaign to oust him last Friday afternoon," James Tien said. "He expressed disappointment and frustration after more than three years as chairman of the KCRC."

Tien's resignation came after the railway's acting chief executive Samuel Lai wrote to the corporation's board of directors last Thursday expressing his dissatisfaction with Tien's style of management.

Five directors and 19 general managers also criticized Tien for putting undue pressure on staff with his management style. In addition, about 4,000 KCRC staff signed a joint petition letter backing Lai.

Tien - who was appointed KCRC chairman by former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa in 2001 and had his appointment extended by another 12 months in December last year - admitted to having read Lai's letter and acknowledged that he gave it a lot of thought.

He said he did have a brief talk with Lai and he made it clear he did not want any divisions within the KCRC.

But Tien added that he has left open the effective date of his departure and it will be up to Tsang, who will need time to appoint a successor, to handle the issue. Tien described his resignation as unfortunate, saying he firmly believed his approach was correct to involve more people and know more about the corporation's policies, bringing in greater transparency and accountability to the corporation.

"It's very unfortunate. I think it's basically differences in style and character between me and the senior management," Tien said.

"I'm Western trained and I believe in just coming out with what I feel, even if it's [with] my boss.

"I think they [KCRC management] found it a bit difficult to talk to the boss and tell him something negative. Therefore, they built up unhappiness and dissatisfaction among themselves. I have to say I was surprised."

Lai said Sunday night he respected Tien's decision, as well as any decision to be taken by Tsang.

He stressed that, in the letter he sent to the KCRC managing board, he was just targeting the corporate governance problem, and was not aiming at any individual or demanding that Tien resign.

"I just raised my observation, including our governance problems and conflicts, with the managing board, and I hope they can resolve that," Lai said.

He denied having difficulties in communicating with Tien, with whom he has worked over the past four years.

"I've always worked closely with Mr Tien," he said.

"But recently, we found his governance concept and direction has started to infringe upon our professional judgment, eventually arousing sentiment among staff. So, I think it was time for me to send the letter."

Lai said train operations will not be affected and believed that future decisions to be made by Tsang and KCRC's managing board would be based on public interest.

Academics said they were worried that Tien's resignation would set a bad precedent.

James Sung, a political analyst at City University, said such a move may spill over to other government statutory bodies.

Legislative Council transport panel chairman Lau Kong-wah regretted Tien's resignation and hoped the government would intervene and keep Tien as KCRC chairman. "Although they [KCRC management and Tien] have differing views, it's not necessary to order someone to step down," Lau said. "It's unfair to say all the problems were created by Tien. Can you say the [train incidents] are solely Tien's problem? Tien's resignation doesn't mean the KCRC's problems can be solved. On the contrary, it might create more difficulties, rather than resolving them."
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Old March 13th, 2006, 07:54 AM   #1359
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From news.gov.hk:
KCRC chairman resigns

Solution to KCRC discord ready soon: Dr Sarah Liao
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Old March 14th, 2006, 02:03 AM   #1360
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Tsang's deadline to KCRC
Hong Kong Standard
Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Chief Executive Donald Tsang has asked the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation's board of directors to resolve its management crisis within three days.

A board meeting will be held today to discuss how to deal with the dispute, and whether to accept chairman Michael Tien's resignation, which triggered the crisis. Tien tendered his resignation to Tsang Saturday and announced it the following day.

Board member Ng Leung-sing said today's meeting should deal with the roles of both the company chairman and its acting chief executive, Samuel Lai.

Ng said he would not rule out possible solutions to the feud, including retaining Tien.

Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao said after meeting Tsang Monday the government had yet to decide whether or not to accept Tien's resignation. "We've to make recommendations after discussing the row between the chairman and the chief executive [of the KCRC] at the meeting," she said.

Liao said the issue is a matter of public interest that should be handled rationally, while rail services should be maintained and staff should not be affected. She insisted there is "no sign of discord" in the top management.

A government source said Monday Tsang had instructed Liao to try to defuse the crisis as soon as possible. Tsang is thought to favor an amicable settlement, with Tien being retained as chairman, with his powers restricted to the daily operations of the railway operator.

"Tsang is upset with the KCRC senior management, but has told officials to stay calm and refrain from aggravating the situation. The government has no choice but to rely on incumbent senior management in the interests of public rail services," the source said.

Tien said Monday: "I shall leave the decision [of my resignation] with the chief executive [of the SAR]."

His resignation came after Lai wrote to the board last Thursday expressing dissatisfaction with Tien's style of leadership. Senior management officials have also criticized Tien for putting undue pressure on the company's staff, about 4,000 of whom signed a joint petition backing Lai.

Tien said Sunday he was very surprised with Lai's statement that he was just "targeting the corporate governance problem, and not aiming at any individual or demanding that Tien resign."

A spokesman for the Chief Executive's Office said Monday Tsang and the government were concerned about the dispute and that Tsang had met with Lai to discuss the conflict. "Lai explained [to the chief executive] the causes and possible consequences of the issue," the spokesman said.

After the meeting, Lai said: "Now I've to wait for the chief executive's final decision and for the board to come up with a solution."

He promised that the KCRC will continue to provide normal, safe and smooth train services to the public.

Chairman of the KCRC Workers' Union, Ko Pak-kwan, said staff morale has not been shaken by the dispute. "No matter who's the boss, we'll continue to run the railway normally," Ko said.

Liberal Party chairman James Tien said in Beijing his brother had made the right move and both of them will support any decision to be made by the chief executive.

Raymond So, an associate dean at the Chinese University's business administration faculty, said the real solution would be to set up a clear timetable for a merger between the KCRC and the Mass Transit Railway Corp. He said the crisis was neither the fault of Tien nor the management, rather it is the long-awaited merger with the MTRC that has sparked the dispute.

"Samuel Lai has been acting chief executive for two years, but he has no mandate to carry out policies, or even know if he'll be acting the next day," So said.

The management has been frustrated with the uncertainties surrounding the corporation. "The government should let the management know if the KCRC and the MTRC will merge as soon as possible. If it's not an appropriate moment to merge, just say they'll not merge for three years," So said.

The conflict between Tien and Lai had arisen from a blurred division of work, he added.

Liao said the proposed merger will be considered and will proceed as scheduled despite the uncertainties.
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