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Top health post for man in SARS row

HK Standard

Eddie Luk

Friday, May 04, 2012

Former Hospital Authority senior executive Ko Wing-man will take over the post of health minister.

The orthopedic surgeon was a core supporter of Chief Executive-elect Leung Chun-ying during the election, and also helped map out health and medical initiatives in his manifesto.

Ko was acting chief executive at the Hospital Authority in 2003 when its chief executive, William Ho Shiu-wei, contracted SARS.

Ko subsequently resigned from the authority in 2004 after both it and the government were slammed for mishandling the SARS outbreak.

Meanwhile, former permanent secretary for development Mak Chai-kwongwill assume the post of secretary for transport and works. Mak worked with Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who is widely tipped to be the next chief secretary, before his retirement in 2010.

Undersecretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok will replace Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong as secretary for security, while Secretary for Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah and Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Yat- ngok will be transferred to other posts if they are willing to serve the new administration.

Other officials such as Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Chan Ka-keung, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung and Commerce and Development Secretary Greg So Kam-leung will also serve the new administration.

Former Bar Association chairman Rimsky Yuen Kwok- keung will likely be appointed secretary for justice and Equal Opportunities Commission chief Lam Woon-kwong will be deputy chief secretary.

Accountancy sector lawmaker Paul Chan Mo-po likely will be deputy financial secretary.

In a related development, Leung’s office director, Fanny Law Fan Chui-fun, confirmed for the first time that Carrie Lam will continue to serve in the new administration.

Speaking on an RTHK radio program yesterday, Law hailed Lam for taking the initiative to visit local districts to listen to the opinions of the public and stressed that other officials in Leung’s Cabinet should follow suit.

Law also said she did not think it unsuitable for the new government to appoint political elites who are members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference or National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

Critics have said it would be unsuitable for Yuen, who is a member of CPPCC of Guangdong province, to become justice secretary.

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