Incoming leader John Lee has unveiled the full membership of the Executive Council, a top-tier team of government officials that will advise the administration for the next five years.
The Executive Council consists of 21 Principal Officials, who were announced last Sunday, as well as 16 non-official members confirmed on Wednesday.
Barrister Ronny Tong and former University of Hong Kong Council chief Arthur Li are among those staying on, while lawmakers Gary Chan and Stanley Ng will join.
The government describes the Executive Council as an “organ for assisting the Chief Executive in policy-making.” The council is consulted on areas including the introduction of bills to the Legislative Council and other major policy decisions.
Chairperson of the New People’s Party and a current Legislative Council member, Regina Ip will lead the Executive Council as the convener. She was Hong Kong’s secretary of security from 1998 to 2003, when she resigned in the wake of a major July 1 protest against proposed security legislation.
Arthur Li is a member of the Committee for the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region under Beijing’s top legislative body. He was secretary for education and manpower from 2002 to 2007.
Most recently, as the chief of the University of Hong Kong Council, Li oversaw the removal of the Pillar of Shame – a statue honouring those who died on June 4, 1989 – as part of a wider crackdown on the city’s remembrance of the tragedy. He said after the removal that the Pillar of Shame was a “scam” and “irrelevant” to the crackdown.
A lawmaker and President of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, Stanley Ng is also one of Hong Kong deputies to China’s top legislative body. In 2020, Ng accused the Hong Kong Journalists Association of supporting “violence” and “inciting sedition.”
Gary Chan is a Legislative Council member and vice-chairperson of the city’s largest pro-Beijing party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong. He also chairs the Legislative Council’s security panel.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Chan said it was his “honour” to have been appointed to the Executive Council. “The Executive Council members this time are extremely varied, with people from different backgrounds and with different experiences. [We] can definitely work with the chief executive to do a good job in policymaking,” he wrote.
Ko Wing-man is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. He was Hong Kong’s secretary for food and health from 2012 to 2017, during which he was the city’s most popular principal official according to a poll.
A lawmaker and vice-chairperson of pro-Beijing party Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, Jeffrey Lam is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Veteran lawmaker Tommy Cheung has been a member of the Legislative Council since 2000, representing the catering sector. He is also chairperson of the pro-Beijing Liberal Party, as was formerly a district councillor in the Eastern District.
With almost 40 years of experience in public service, Joseph Yam is currently a research fellow at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Lau Chor Tak Institute of Global Economics and Finance. He served as the first chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority from 1993 to 2009.
Barrister Ronny Tong is convener of thinktank Path of Democracy. He was formerly a lawmaker and chairperson of the Hong Kong Bar Association. Tong, who has described himself as a democrat, has defended the arrests of editors from defunct outlet Stand News and the closure of Victoria Park on the anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown last year.
Lam is chairperson of the Elderly Commission and the Council for Sustainable Development. He is also the chief executive officer of Haven of Hope Christian Service, an organisation that provides rehabilitative and health services.
In 2019, when authorities pushed ahead with a controversial amendment to the extradition bill despite mass protests, Lam said he hoped the government would consider suspending the bill.
A barrister and lawmaker, Martin Liao is one of Hong Kong’s deputies to China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress. He is also chairperson of the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s Advisory Committee on Corruption.
A district councillor, lawmaker and chairperson of rural residents’ body Heung Yee Kuk, Kenneth Lau is also vice chairperson of Wing Tung Yick Holdings Limited.
According to an annual declaration of interests, Lau owns over 400 pieces of land in the New Territories, and six houses in Tuen Mun, among other property. He inherited his position at Heung Yee Kuk from his father.
Moses Cheng is the chairperson of the Council of the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, the city’s Anglican Church. He was also the first chairperson of the Insurance Authority.
A former chief executive officer of Hang Seng Bank and executive committee chairperson of NGO Community Chest, Margaret Leung is treasurer of the University of Hong Kong. She is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Chan Kin-por is a lawmaker and chairperson of the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee. He was chairperson of numerous insurance organisations, and was previously vice chairperson of police watchdog group Independent Police Complaints Council.
A member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Eliza Chan was previously the director of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks.
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