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June 28th, 2012:

Idling engine law just a smokescreen


Your editorial noted the absence of prosecutions for idling engines and perhaps there never will be any (“Idling engine law has all but stalled”, June 19).

Last week I took a photo of a minibus which was parked outside the K. Wah Centre in North Point. The picture showed the driver enjoying a well earned rest in air-conditioned comfort with the engine running and no one at the wheel.

I suppose it is fruitless to expect prosecutions since it is the long-established inalienable right of every indigenous male driver to sleep in his vehicle, this right having been established over countless generations and anyone trying to remove this right is obviously a troublemaker.

There is a saying that the law is an ass, but who is the real ass?

Is it the government that devised the law, or the legislators who enacted it?

Or perhaps it is those who believed that the government was doing something about air pollution, when, in fact, it was only blowing a smokescreen over its inertia.

Robert Wilson, Discovery Bay

Rules to scrutinise official lavish trips

Colleen Lee
4:21pm, Jun 28, 2012

New curbs on lavish spending by the chief executive will compel officials to explain why a lower-grade hotel suite was not chosen for the city’s leader on future duty trips, lawmakers were told on Thursday.

The outgoing director of the Chief Executive’s Office, Professor Gabriel Leung, told lawmakers that the proposed new guidelines would be given to the office of the incoming leader, Leung Chun-ying, before he takes office on Sunday, for him to put the measures into force.

The guidelines were drawn up following controversy over Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen’s lavish hotel expenses on official trips abroad. They come nearly a month after the Audit Commission found that Tsang had stayed in plush hotel rooms without good reason, and the Chief Executive’s Office had no internal rules to govern the choice of accommodation.

“In our guidelines, we will say very clearly: apart from fulfilling all these criteria [on spending] please also tell us why a [suite] one grade lower is not suitable and how much [its room rate] is,” Professor Leung said in a joint meeting of the panels on commerce, industry and economic development.

The audit earlier found that, of the 49 nights of accommodation paid for by the Hong Kong government – rather than hosts or sponsors – over the past five years, Tsang stayed in a superior suite on 41 of them.

The proposed new rules would require the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices to consider six criteria when deciding which suites to recommend to the Chief Executive’s Office. They include any sponsorship of accommodation by a host, organisation or country, and the nature of the facilities and design of the room.

“We will see if [the suite] can be used to hold meetings with the press, local officials and important persons in the political and economic sectors,” Leung said.

“In case of emergencies, say the outbreak of Sars in Hong Kong in 2003 and swine flu in 2009, and [if the chief executive] was on duty visit abroad – he would need an emergency control centre.”

Other considerations, Leung said, were security, diplomatic protocol to reflect Hong Kong’s status, auxiliary facilities required such as telecommunication services, and a complete quotation of prices from hotels.

Under the new plan, the Chief Executive’s Office should post on its website a record of its spending on duty visits every quarter; and such disclosures should be made within six months after each trip.

In future the office would explain in more detail to the public, after each trip, how it could benefit Hong Kong, Leung said.

As recommended by the audit, payments for the chief executive’s accommodation would need approval from the office’s permanent secretary instead of the leader’s private secretary, Leung said.

The leader’s office has asked the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau to consider, again, whether the government should apply for a corporate credit card for spending on duty visits, Leung said.

The government reviewed the matter in 2006, he said, and found that using a corporate card might have more disadvantages than advantages, although he did not explain the disadvantages on Thursday.

Democrat Kam Nai-wai said the criteria for spending should include public sentiment.

Leung responded: “The public’s feelings are crucial … [As mentioned in the audit report,] such expenditure is sensitive in the eyes of the public. I totally agree with that, and I am fully confident that the next administration and relevant officials will give high consideration to it when [choosing accommodations].”

Tsang has faced calls to step down from office over his luxurious official trips and favours received from tycoon friends.

Prize-Winning Reporter Driven out of SCMP

Written by Paul Mooney

Protesters against SCMP policy

Description: Protesters against SCMP policy

Editor Wang Xiangwei says the East is Red

This is reprinted from the Asia Sentinel welcomes tales of similar experiences. Send them to the editor This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

On April 22, Wang Xiangwei, the new editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post, informed me that my contract with the newspaper would not be renewed when it expired on May 21. I can’t say I was surprised.

Sitting in a hotel restaurant in Hong Kong on a hot April day, Wang stared down at the table as the conversation began, seemingly unwilling to make eye contact. After a few minutes of chit chat, I asked him directly about my contract. He fidgeted and said he would not be able to renew it due to budget problems.

To me it was clear that this was a political decision. For seven months, he had basically blocked me from writing any China stories for the newspaper. During that period, I only had two stories in the China pages of the newspaper–one on panda bears and one on compensation for AIDS victims. Some two dozen other story suggestions went unanswered by the China Desk–in one case a story was approved, but the editor told me Wang had overruled him. A half-dozen emails to Wang pleading to write more for the newspaper went unanswered.

It certainly was not about money. Following my departure, Wang hired a spate of new young reporters, many apparently from the mainland. And if there were budget problems, why was I chosen to be let go? Obviously, there were newer people at the newspaper than myself. I had been on contract for two years, and wrote my first article for the newspaper in 1990, some 22 years ago. And I’d won 10 awards for my reporting for the newspaper, more than any other staff reporter.

When I offered to freelance and said I didn’t care about the word rate, he hemmed and hawed. When I asked if the newspaper could at least allow me to keep my journalist accreditation with the South China Morning Post, so I could continue to contribute articles to the newspaper, he muttered something about having to think about it. Despite several emails asking about this, he never agreed to do this. And there was no cost in sponsoring me.

When the news came last year that Wang had been appointed the editor-in-chief, I was quite surprised. For one, despite talk of him being a veteran journalist, he had little actual practical experience doing real journalism–far less than a lot of his staff. Wang had worked for the China Daily, done a master’s degree in journalism and had gone off to London on a training program, where he worked briefly for the BBC. As far as I know, he never “pounded the sidewalks,” as we American journalists say of a reporter who has spent years roaming around doing interviews.

He’d shown weakness in news judgment on many occasions, but more important, he’d long had a reputation as being a censor of the news, which may be what endeared him to Mr. Robert Kuok, the Malaysian tycoon who owns the newspaper, and his son and daughter, who took turns running it.

Talk to anyone on the China reporting team at the South China Morning Post and they’ll tell you a story about how Wang has cut their stories, or asked them to do an uninteresting story that was favorable to China.

Last November, I traveled to the US on holiday and decided to take a train to meet Geng He, the wife of rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who had snuck past Chinese security guarding their Beijing home with a young son and daughter, making it all the way to Thailand and eventually political asylum in the US.

During a three-hour interview in a highway Burger King, Ms. Geng gave me unreported details about the harrowing escape through Southeast Asian jungles, much of it in the middle of the night. She cried as she talked about her husband’s treatment by brutal security people, and she smiled when she recalled her husband’s dedication as a lawyer. Tears fell as she described the difficulties the family was facing in the US. Both children had been seriously affected by the treatment of their father here in China, which included serious torture and forced disappearances for lengthy periods.

An editor expressed interest in the story, but got back to me later in the day to tell me that Wang had spiked it. No reason was given.

When I was the second foreign reporter to see Gao during his brief respite from being disappeared, Editor-in-chief Reg Chua and Deputy Editor David Lague had a bitter argument with Wang, who was not keen to run the story. They wanted it on the front page, but Wang wanted it buried inside. They compromised by putting the story inside and cutting it slightly. Gao Zhisheng was obviously on Wang’s list of people not to be reported about.

When the government began its nasty crackdown against rights lawyers and other dissidents last year, one that saw people have black hoods thrown over their heads before being stuffed into cars, and then being taken to hidden locations, where most endured horrible torture, I saw an unprecedented pattern of intimidation and pain that clearly marked a new and frightening trend and so I suggested a story to the China Desk (David Lague, the deputy editor, was on holiday at the time). The story was immediately rejected by a China Desk editor, who said the newspaper had reported on tortured lawyers already. I wrote a short note saying this was a new and different trend, but I knew it would go unanswered.

When David Lague returned weeks later, I submitted the story to him and he immediately said to go ahead. I finished the story, but it sat on the China Desk for about three months, a practice I later learned was not uncommon when Wang wanted to let a story shrink in importance. When I wrote to David Lague, he pleaded he no longer had the authority he used to have. Silence of the Dissidents ran three months later, and I went on to win two awards for the story the China Desk tried to kill.

During their time at the newspaper, the two veteran journalists frequently battled fiercely with Mr. Wang over stories, with the daughter of Mr. Robert Kuok, the Malaysian owner of the newspaper, frequently siding with Wang. Insiders say the Kuoks long coddled Wang, believing he had influence in China.

Nor was I the only foreign reporter to be pushed out of the newspaper–I follow a long line of foreigners–each with long experience–who saw their contracts allowed to run out by Wang–this way he could plead innocence: You’ve not been fired, your contract ran out. There are now no foreign reporters working for the South China Morning Post in China–a first in a long while.

One good example is the case of former Guangzhou correspondent Leu Siew Ying, a native of Malaysia, who won the European Commission’s Lorenzo Natali Grand Prize in 2006 for her reporting on protests in the village of Taishi the previous year.

“She left the paper in 2007 after disputes with Mr. Wang about following up on Taishi and pressure from the Guangdong authorities,” Wall Street Journal Asia editor Hugo Restall wrote.

During Wang’s time with the newspaper, several foreign editors were offered the job of editor-in-chief, but most left after fighting a losing battle with the former China Daily reporter and member of the JinlinChinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. The Kuoks always made it clear where their loyalties lay.

But this is not just a case of foreign reporters being harassed. Talk to just about any one of the excellent Chinese or Hong Kong reporters writing about China for the newspaper, and, if they’re willing to talk, they’ll quietly tell about Wang spiking perfectly good stories or of being told to write more “positive” articles.

It’s interesting that the story that finally exposed Wang was one about the mysterious death of June 4 activist Li Wangyang, which barely got coverage in the newspaper.

After a sub on the desk questioned this gap in the newspaper’s reporting, about a story that other Hong Kong media had jumped on eagerly, Wang curtly told the sub off. “I don’t have to explain to you anything. I made the decision and I stand by it. If you don’t like it, you know what to do.”

When the news gained international attention, and his own reporters signed a letter asking for an explanation, a worried Wang responded with a statement to staff that he decided to run the story as a brief on the first day because he felt the newspaper didn’t have enough hard facts for a full story.

But what Wang failed to say was that the newspaper had in fact run a much longer story on Li’s death in its first edition and that Wang had chosen to yank it, shave it down to a brief for the next edition, and replace it with an article about former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui and a conversation he had with a group of students–a story that had already run two days earlier.

What few have noticed, is that self-censorship is not the only problem. Possibly more worrying is the newspaper’s new-found proclivity under Wang to publish dubious stories that reflect Beijing’s views.

Earlier this year, deputy editor Tammy Tam gushed like a high school girl over a story about the Chinese Panchen Lama, asking only one serious question of a person who has never appeared in the Western media before. Eric X. Li, a well-known apologist for China, has been writing regular columns for the South China Morning Post. In one recent article he slapped Hong Kong citizens on the wrist for not welcoming mainland women to have their babies in the territory, and then wondering aloud if a people like this deserved the right to vote. Last week came a story by Professor Jiang Shigong, deputy director of Peking University’s Centre for Hong Kong and Macau Studies, that claimed “Hongkongers accept Beijing’s rule.”

In his own weekly commentary, Wang had egg on his face after predicting that disgraced Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai had escaped any serious trouble. “Firstly, Bo’s political career looks safe for now and he has apparently managed to push back the pressure from his opponents within the party,” Wang wrote just before Bo fell hard.

Another article described Tibetans in Lhasa happily celebrating the Tibetan New Year, with quotes coming from one unidentified “middle-aged Tibetan man.” Meanwhile, more objective reports were reporting a dire situation in the Tibetan area. The article read like a China Daily story.

While the South China Morning Post continues to publish good critical reportage on China, the newspaper no longer has the status it had in the late 1990s, or more recently under three years direction under Chua and Lague, when the newspaper made great advances.

Under Wang’s stewardship, the newspaper has lost credibility with Hong Kong and international readers and is now often the butt of jokes in the local Chinese media there.

Sadly, the South China Morning Post, which has a history of more than 100 years of reporting on Asia, may be beyond the point of return. With credibility and morale at the newspaper sagging, and with controversies on the rise, competent journalists will now be reluctant to join the newspaper, and it can only sink deeper into mediocrity. The prospects for English-language journalism in Hong Kong is not good and this is sad.

(Reprinted from

Q&A: Hong Kong’s New Leader Is a Divisive Figure, but Aims to Build Bridges

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Hong Kong Chief Executive elect Leung Chun-ying leaves the government headquarter’s after a meeting with Chief Executive Donald Tsang in Hong Kong on March 26, 2012

Leung Chun-ying, often referred to as C.Y. Leung, is Hong Kong’s incoming Chief Executive. It’s a pressure cooker of a role that puts him at the helm of the freest and most international city of the world’s most populous nation, during times of economic uncertainty to boot. The 57-year-old former surveyor faces a daunting task. Immense income inequality, ruinously high property prices, an entrenched business oligarchy and a sophisticated population that aspires to greater political participation than the present system allows for: these are just some of the issues and stumbling blocks that could thwart his stated aim of bringing greater prosperity, equality and social cohesion to a feisty, semiautonomous region of 7 million. And he must do it under the scrutiny of both Beijing’s unblinking gaze and Hong Kong’s notoriously cutthroat press.

Leung’s humble beginnings — he is a police constable’s son — have endeared him to large sections of the Hong Kong community, but there are many who resent his close ties to Beijing and he has even been accused of being a crypto-communist. He is also embroiled in a scandal over unauthorized alterations to his luxury home on Victoria Peak, reports of which first surfaced in local press on June 19. Residential refurbishments may not sound like the stuff of political controversy, but when Leung’s poll rival Henry Tang confessed, at the height of his campaign, to illegal modifications to his home, it cost him the trust of a public that demands its leaders abide by the same onerous red tape as everyone else. Although Leung’s renovations were not as substantial as Tang’s, their existence is seen as a baffling lapse of judgment on Leung’s part, and critics are already calling for his resignation.

(SPECIAL: Hong Kong 1997-2007)

In an exclusive interview with TIME’s Zoher Abdoolcarim, Liam Fitzpatrick, Joe Jackson and Vanessa Ko, which took place on June 5, this often divisive figure reveals his plans for greater harmony.

What are the three things Hong Kong needs most?
Community building, a broader outlook on the future and a slightly more proactive role of government in economic development. I want to build the community across the various social strata, and also across the various ethnic groups. That would be the first thing. Secondly, we must put short-termism behind us. We have never looked long term — never in the history of Hong Kong. We must ask ourselves [for future generations], What should the coastline and topography of Hong Kong look like? Reclamation, opening up the countryside, infrastructural projects, community facilities, so on. We should start doing that kind of planning. Thirdly, my government will adopt a progrowth policy, to the extent of investing in enterprises. We should use a small part of our fiscal reserves to kick-start certain industries. We also need to make social investments. We need to plan for Hong Kong as an aging society in 10 or 20 years time. Another form of social investment would be cleaning up the environment.

You talk about building a community, but surely Hong Kong already has a sense of community?
Unlike other British colonies — ex-colonies — we did not become a new nation. And therefore there wasn’t a new national identity. There wasn’t a new citizenship. But I think Hong Kong needs to pull everyone together so that we do have this community spirit and that we share in a common fate, a common destiny.

Big business is concerned about interventionist government. What would you say to them to reassure them?
My policies are aimed at facilitating growth of Hong Kong’s overall economy for the benefit of both big and small to medium-size enterprises. I’m not trying to tip the playing field in favor of any group.

Does more affordable housing play a role in your vision of a more equitable society?
More affordable and more comfortable. The average unit size is too small to match Hong Kong’s state of economic development, and people are crying out for more elbow room. It applies not just to our housing stock. It applies to our workplaces. It applies to our hospitals, schools and so on. We have a very low standard of space per capita. Everywhere you look, people are crying out for more space.

(MORE: Hong Kong’s Non-Election: A ‘Rotten’ System on Show)

There is a sense among some sectors of society that under you freedoms are going to be curbed in Hong Kong — that you are a stalking horse for China. Tell us what your response is.
I’d like to prove people who are apprehensive about me and my government wrong again, much in the same way as they have been proved wrong in the last 15 years. Before 1997, some people were publicly claiming that they would be put behind bars [after the resumption of Chinese sovereignty], or not be allowed to return if they left. Some people even feared that certain books or magazines would not be read in Hong Kong and that the Chinese government would somehow monitor the Internet. They’ve been proved wrong, and I can prove them wrong again.

Under Article 23 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong is required to enact antisubversion legislation, which critics say will curb freedoms. Do you intend to see this legislation through?
We need general acceptance in Hong Kong before any law enacted in accordance with Article 23 has any meaning. It’s not on my agenda.

How do you make the bridge between Hong Kong and China stronger?
I coined a phrase some 16 or 17 years ago, nei jiao. It means internal diplomacy. If we were a country, which we are not, China would be the single most important element in our foreign policy architecture. It would be even more important than Malaysia is to Singapore. But we are not an independent country, and therefore this is not foreign relations; it is internal diplomacy. In our interface with the mainland, many things are conducted like they are conducted in foreign relations. The relationship must be a managed relationship. [At present] we are not doing this internal diplomacy properly. We need to start with the [mainland Chinese] people to explain Hong Kong’s case to them, and Hong Kong’s role in the country.

What is Hong Kong’s role within China?
We are still a model in ways economic and noneconomic. When I say things noneconomic, I would include governance — and rule of law is a key element. Many, I sincerely believe they tell the truth, say that they still look to Hong Kong for inspiration.

Why is it that there’s a certain section of society that, no matter what you do or say, does not trust you and even fears you? How are you going to win them over?
I shall do more reaching out, do more open communication. It is important. I can’t shake the hands of everyone in Hong Kong and I can’t speak face to face, eye to eye with everyone, but I shall try to do my very best. Why? Two things. Hong Kong people have always had, and for good historical reasons, a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to their political leaders. Secondly, perhaps people see me as not a typical Hong Kong person. In my early days, as a young graduate, I spent most of my spare time running up and down the country giving lectures for free, paying for my own train fares, airfares to share what I had learned. [I’m] not a member of the Communist Party, but I’ve spoken at Communist Party cadre schools, talking to mayors and ministers about land and housing matters and how free-market forces allocate the use of land and housing. I’m also not typical in the way that I don’t have a foreign passport and never have. I never left Hong Kong — never emigrated, never looked to emigrate — and all my three children were born in Hong Kong. All these are not typical for someone of my background.

(MORE: Trouble Down South: Why Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese Aren’t Getting Along)

Low-income people tend to like you or at least want to give you a chance. Members of the elite seem to be more distrustful. Is it because you are the son of a policeman?
I hope not. Many people in the elite group still don’t believe in statistics. They don’t believe that we have abject poverty in Hong Kong. They don’t believe that half of the workforce in Hong Kong earns no more than 11,000 Hong Kong dollars a month [$1,400]. When I was supporting legislating for a minimum wage using facts and figures, many people in the elite said, “C.Y., the figures must be wrong because I don’t know anyone who earns less than $10,000.” The so-called elite in Hong Kong has what we call “Central District values,” and I think Hong Kong would do a lot better if everyone could just travel out a bit and see how, not just the other half, but probably the other 75%, lives.

If you had to name one single thing in your background that drives you, could you?
We were living in policemen’s married quarters in 1966. My father was turning 65, and a few years before that we came to realize that as soon as he retired, we would have to move out of the quarters. And public-housing policy at that time was such that retired officers were not allowed to apply for public housing. So there were two options. One was to hang on for as long as we could and protest against the eviction, which most of my neighbors did. And the other option was to fend for ourselves. My mother mobilized the entire family, and we worked around the clock at home piecing together plastic flowers and toys. I was 10 or 11 in those days, and I carried packs of materials back home from the factory — a 20- or 25-minute walk as a young boy. Nowadays it’s called child labor. But the family made as much as my father’s salary, which was 300 Hong Kong dollars a month [nearly $40 in today’s exchange rate]. So by the time my father retired, we had enough money to pay for a small 450-sq.-ft. unit in [the once largely working-class district of] Kennedy Town. My father’s colleagues marched up to Government House to petition for their housing needs. We didn’t do that. [We were] self-reliant.

What would you be doing if you weren’t Chief Executive?
I’d probably be somewhere in England now, where my children are — we have three children, all at university, the eldest doing Ph.D. research in stem cells, two others doing their first degree. My wife’s in England, she goes there a lot because home is where the children are. She’s a lawyer by training. But two years ago, a junction suddenly appeared on the road. I was working at this professional consultancy looking after the Asia-Pacific region. And they said, “C.Y., we’d like you to take over and be the next chairman of the board of a global company.” Tempting. I would probably have a bachelor flat somewhere in London and I would buy a small working farm somewhere in the West Country, and I’d work Monday to Friday in London and spend time on the farm with the family on weekends. Heaven on earth. But if I turned into that junction, it would be — as far as my public service in Hong Kong is concerned — the point of no return. So I made the decision [to run for office]. It was the call of duty.

What is the most challenging issue facing the Hong Kong government?
Disengagement with the people. People are disenfranchised because they don’t vote, they are disengaged because we don’t talk to them, and we don’t listen, not directly. There is a sense of being disowned, and therefore, there’s a deep sense of distrust between the people and the government, or by the people of government. I want to bridge that gap and I want to re-engage with the people.

Isn’t it ironic that a sometimes divisive figure has been tasked with healing a divided city?
It’s a fair point. It’s a very good way of putting it. But we have to start somewhere.

PHOTOS: Hong Kong: What’s Changed, What Hasn’t

Related Topics: Chief ExecutiveChinahong kongLeung Chun-ying. interviewChina

Read more:

Leung’s new cabinet announced

Lai Ying-kit
4:37pm, Jun 28, 2012

The central government announced the line-up of Leung Chun-ying’s cabinet on Thursday, three days before he takes office as Hong Kong’s chief executive.

Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, 55, will become chief secretary, second in command in Leung’s administration, while John Tsang Chun-wah, 61, will stay on as financial secretary. Their appointments to those posts have been widely anticipated.

Former Bar Association chairman Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, 48, will become secretary for justice.

The appointments were made to the existing cabinet structure. Nobody was named for the new positions Leung is trying to create: two new deputy secretaries and two new bureaus chiefs.

Some current cabinet members will retain their positions, including: Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen, 48; Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Professor Chan Ka-keung, 55; Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung, 53; Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, 61; and Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing.

Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah will become director of the Chief Executive’s Office.

Undersecretary for security Lai Tung-kwok, 60, will take over as secretary for security.

New faces among policy bureau chiefs include Dr Ko Wing-man, 55, as secretary for food and health, and veteran architect Wong Kam-sing, 49, as environment minister. Ko is a former Hospital Authority official.

Discussing the new cabinet members, Leung said their experience and dedication would help him implement his policies efficiently.

He pledged that his administration would heed public views, starting with a community visit by him and chief secretary Carrie Lam on July 2.

“Each of them has an outstanding performance record in their own area and they share the same goals and ideals with me,” Leung said. “I am confident we together can achieve our goal, that is, to seek change with prudence while maintaining overall stability.”

Leung said he would try to get his cabinet revamp plan passed by the Legislative Council soon, to help him better implement his policies. The plan suggests creating two policy bureaus and two new deputy secretaries.

Lam said she would help Leung carry out his policy blueprint and deal with tasks such as co-ordinating work among different policy bureaus and leading the civil service. Her experience as director of social welfare, she said, helped her grasp livelihood issues facing underprivileged groups and to reach out to them.

John Tsang said the focus of his coming five years as financial secretary would be on maintaining a balanced budget for Hong Kong, boosting the economy and refining the housing and lands policy to maintain a healthy property market.

Rimsky Yuen pledged that, as secretary for justice, he would exhaust all the options within Hong Kong’s legal framework before asking Beijing for an interpretation of the Basic Law. On the controversial anti-subversion bill, Article 23 of the Basic Law, Yuen said it was not on his work plan because Hong Kong was facing many other issues in economic and domestic areas.

Yuen acknowledged that his membership in Guangdong’s Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference had raised public concern over his neutrality as justice secretary. He has resigned from the position, he said.

Other appointments include:

  • Secretary for education: Eddie Ng Hak-kim, 59, currently chairman of the Examinations and Assessment Authority.
  • Secretary for development: Mak Chai-kwong, 62, the former highways chief.
  • Secretary for transport and housing: Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, 60, Executive Council member.
  • Secretary for civil service: Paul Tang Kwok-wai, 56, currently permanent secretary for labour and welfare.
  • Commissioner of police: Andy Tsang Wai-hung, 54, will continue in the post.
  • Director of immigration: Eric Chan Kwok-ki, 53, keeps the post.
  • Commissioner of Customs and Excise: Clement Cheung Wan-ching, 50, retains the position.
  • Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption: Simon Peh Yun-lu, 57, former immigration director.
  • Director of audit. David Sun Tak-kei, 59, former chairman and managing partner of Ernst & Young.

Clear the Air says:

Normally, someone who totally failed in his job and visited overseas 59 times in 60 months at public expense whilst his portfolio, the local stagnant stinking air and environment worsened, should be fired . Like his stupid incinerator idea.

It seems CY Leung now wants this same person running his office.