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New political appointments unveiled for policy bureaus

SCMP Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 5:50pm


Professor Sophia Chan, former head of the University of Hong Kong nursing school. Photo: Oliver Tsang

The government announced the appointment of two undersecretaries and five political assistants to its policy bureaus on Wednesday.

Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee, former head of the University of Hong Kong nursing school, will become undersecretary for food and health.

Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, currently the principal assistant secretary for food and health, was appointed undersecretary for education.

Chan, 54, began her career as a nursing student at Queen Mary Hospital in the 1970s, before moving into the academic field. She is now research director of HKU’s nursing school.

Chan, an expert in health protection measures such as tobacco controls, will be deputy to Dr Ko Wing-man, head of the Food and Health Bureau.

Yeung, 49, was administrative assistant to Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing for more than four years before moving to the Food and Health Bureau in 2010. He is the first administrative officer to leave the civil service and become a political appointee in Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s administration.

The five new political assistants include veteran journalist and public relations consultant Carmen Cheung Sau-lai, who was appointed assistant to Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

Julian Law Wing-chung, a former journalist at the Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao Daily, will become assistant to Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah.

The other three will serve in policy bureaus.

Jeff Sze Chun-fai, a former executive director at the Savantas Policy Institute think tank, will join the Education Bureau.

Zandra Mok Yee-tuen, who was the political assistant to the secretary for Labour and Welfare from 2008 until June this year, returns to that position; and retired chief superintendent of police Cassius Lau Fu-sang will join the Security Bureau.

Chan and Cheung assume office on Thursday, and the others will follow later this month.

Wednesday’s appointments were the third batch of political appointees named by Leung’s administration. The government has appointed five undersecretaries and one political assistant since June.

Under the political appointment system, each of the 12 policy bureaus has one undersecretary and one political assistant. Two more political assistants are appointed to help the chief secretary and financial secretary respectively.

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