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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.


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