The Secretary-general of the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC), Chu Man-kin, will be leaving his post after his term ends on January 2, 2017, as the police watchdog body announces that it has already instructed headhunting companies to look for his successor.

Chu, 62, was previously the Assistant Director of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The IPCC posted a recruitment notice for the position last year, and although Chu could reapply, he said that he would not be doing so, sources cited by Apple Daily said. Another four high-ranking members of the watchdog body have also turned in their resignation letters, Stand News reported.

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IPCC Secretary-general Chu Man-kin. File

Chu was reported to have clashed with IPCC Chairman Larry Kwok Lam-kwong over the alleged beating of pedestrians by former police commander Frankly Chu King-wai during the pro-democracy Occupy protests.

Kwok, however, denied claims that the two had a poor relationship and said that they were both mature and professional adults, RTHK reported. He also said that he recognised Chu’s contribution to the body and had tried to ask him to stay.

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IPCC Chair Kwok Lam-kwong. File

Former IPCC member Edwin Cheng Shing-lung told Commercial Radio on Thursday morning that he believed it was because Chu did not see eye to eye with other members. He also said that he believed the decision was made by “a man”, alluding to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Ming Pao reported. Whether Chu’s departure would affect the IPCC’s credibility would depend on how the watchdog body dealt with the matter and whom the government appoints onto the council, Cheng said.

Last December, the Chief Executive appointed four members, including anti-Occupy activist Barry Chin Chi-yung, onto the IPCC. Critics said that the appointment would perhaps make the public feel as if the government wanted to appoint “police sympathisers” onto the IPCC and it could lower the public’s confidence in it.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.