The Hong Kong government has handed out 42 honour medals to police officers in recognition of their service, and one to a former officer. This year’s honours list saw a record 746 people awarded medals or commendations by the city’s chief executive and 40 individuals were appointed justices of peace.

Teresa Cheng
Teresa Cheng. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

The city’s highest honour — the Grand Bauhinia Medal — was awarded to seven individuals, including Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng, Chief Justice Andrew Cheung, lawmaker and former Security Bureau chief Regina Ip, and Executive Council member Chow Chung-kong.

In response to HK01’s enquiry, Ip said she was glad her efforts to explain legislative work at events and to the international media recognised by the government. “No other legislator has done more than I have in these areas,” she told the media.

Regina Ip
Regina Ip. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

New police chief Siu Chak-yee and head of the police national security department Edwina Lau were awarded the Hong Kong Police Medal for Distinguished Service, while eight police officers were given medals of bravery for their roles in protests between 2019 and 2020, six of whom sustained injuries caused by protesters.

Officer Lui Chun-kit was victim of a knife attack in 2020. File Photo: Stand News.

One of them was victim of a knife attack by a protester on July 1 last year. “Despite the dangerous and life-threatening situation, Mr Lui strived [to do] his best and displayed an exceptional level of bravery and determination to perform his duties as a police officer,” Thursday’s government statement read.

Awards to Covid-19 fighters

In recognition of those who contributed to Hong Kong’s fight against Covid-19, 98 individuals received the Chief Executive’s Commendation for Government or Public Service, although none received Bauhinia-grade honours or medals this year.

Among them was the Centre for Health Protection’s principal medicine and health officer for epidemiology, Dr. Albert Au. His superior Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, were not among the awardees this year, although both Chuang and Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan were made justices of peace in the past, while members on the panel of experts – David Hui and Yuen Kwok-yung – were recipients of bauhinia stars in previous years.

covid evacuation
Photo: Michael Ho/StudioIncendo.

There were 16 other individuals who received medals of honour or other awards for their efforts in the pandemic, including two scientists – but none were medical professionals.

Also among the record honourees was ex-director of public prosecutions Grenville Cross, who was awarded a Gold Bauhinia Star, alongside real estate magnate Li Ka-shing, retired judge Ian Charles McWalters.

Betty Fung, chief executive officer of the West Kowloon Cultural District, was also honoured. She was embroiled in a corruption scandal uncovered by the press in 2016 alongside her husband Wilson Fung, also a high-level government official at the time. Wilson Fung was sentenced to nine months behind bars, although the city’s corruption watchdog did not press charges against his partner.

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Other awardees included the National People’s Congress local deputy Bunny Chan, public broadcaster RTHK radio host Chea Shuk-mui, tenor Warren Mok and business people.

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Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.