Singer Agnes Chan has for the first time denied that she will become Hong Kong’s next secretary for education, after over a week of speculation.

Rumours that the long-time Japan resident would be appointed into chief executive-elect Carrie Lam’s cabinet were initially reported late April by online outlet Citizen News.

Agnes Chan. Photo: Commercial Radio/Facebook.

At the time, Chan told the outlet she had no comment on any specific appointment, but was willing to serve in any position if everybody wanted her to do so.

But on Monday morning, the 61-year-old told Commercial Radio: “I am not becoming secretary for education, nor will I become secretary for education.”

“A reporter asked me [whether Chan would become secretary for education] and I said ‘no comment’, so everybody said ‘maybe yes, maybe no’, and a debate ensued.”

Earlier, Lam also declined to comment on what she called “street speculation.”

See also: Ex-immigration chief appointed to head Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam’s office

Chan has been living mostly in Japan since marrying her manager Tsutomu Kaneko in 1985.

She holds a doctorate in education from Stanford University, while her three sons have also attended the prestigious US institution.

From Japan, Chan has occasionally commented on Hong Kong’s political and education affairs, and published a best-selling book 50 Education Methods from a Mother Who Put 3 Sons into Stanford University last year.

Carrie Lam. Photo: GovHK.

Local media outlets cast doubt as to whether her rumoured appointment met the requirements of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution. Article 61 states that the government’s principal officials must have resided in the city for a continuous period of at least 15 years.

Chan told Citizen News in April that she did not become a Japanese citizen following her marriage.

Chief executive-elect Lam’s term is set to begin on July 1.


Elson Tong

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.