Government announces “removal” of two top officials

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The Chief Executive CY Leung announced this afternoon the “removal” of Tsang Tak-sing (曾 德 成) and Paul Tang Kwok-wai (鄧 國 威) from their respective posts as Secretary for Home Affairs and Secretary for the Civil Service. Current Under Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Lau Kong-wah (劉 江 華) will take over Tsang’s post, while Clement Cheung Wan-ching (張 雲 正), former Commissioner of Customs and Excise, will take over Tang’s.


A Government statement reads, “The State Council, on the nomination and recommendation by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, today (July 21) approved the appointment of Mr Lau Kong-wah as the Secretary for Home Affairs and Mr Clement Cheung Wan-ching as the Secretary for the Civil Service, as well as the removal of Mr Tsang Tak-sing and Mr Paul Tang Kwok-wai from their Principal Official posts.”

At the press conference this afternoon, CY Leung refuted claims the Executive Council was “unstable” and that the leaving officials were “jumping ship”. He said the personnel changes in the Principal Official positions have been relatively stable in the past three years compared to places like US, UK and Taiwan. He refused to provide a reason for the changes.

The Chief Executive thanked Tsang and Tang for their service with “integrity and dedication over the years” and commended their outstanding performances.

“… …”

Commenting on the appointment of Lau Kong-wah and Clement Cheung, the Chief Executive said, “Mr Lau has ample political experience. He joined the current-term government to serve as Under Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs in December 2012, and has since taken part actively in work related to constitutional development. As for Mr Clement Cheung, he is an experienced Administrative Officer and has served in the Government for over 30 years. His performance has been exemplary since he took up the post of Commissioner of Customs and Excise in September 2011.”‘

Lau was famously present at the Government’s public meeting with student representatives without saying a word during the height of the occupy movement.

“Now I am glad to retire.”

The Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing, who is also the younger brother of Legislative Council President Jasper Tsang Yuk-sing, today (July 21) made the following statement on his retirement:

“I became a full time member of the Central Policy Unit in 1998 and assumed the post of Secretary for Home Affairs on July 1, 2007. It was my great honour to join the Special Administrative Region Government and serve the people. Now I am glad to retire.

During my tenure, I had the support and assistance of the Chief Executive, colleagues, staff of the Home Affairs Bureau and stakeholders in the community in fulfilling my tasks and in promoting developments of policy portfolios under the Home Affairs Bureau.

I have confidence in my successor and believe he will master the job. Our handover is smooth.

I would also like to thank the media for their attention and report coverage over the years.”


“Unforeseeable family circumstances”

The former Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Paul Tang, today (July 21) made the following statement on his resignation:

“I am honoured to have served as the Secretary for the Civil Service for the past three years. I would like to thank the Chief Executive, colleagues in the Government, in particular colleagues in the Civil Service Bureau, Members of the Executive Council, Legislative Council and District Councils, friends in the media as well as other stakeholders for the support and advice offered to me during this period.

“While I have enjoyed my work, I think it is an opportune time for me to step down due to unforeseeable family circumstances which require me to spend more time with my family members, and having regard to key civil service initiatives like the Pay Level Survey 2013, the Pay Trend Survey 2015 and extension of the service of civil servants either completed or well on the way.

“I am sure my successor Mr Clement Cheung would be able to lead CSB to new heights and that colleagues would support him, just as they have done so for me.

“If the suitable opportunity comes along in the future, I am prepared to serve the community in another capacity.”


Meanwhile, Thomas Chow Tat-ming, Permanent Secretary for Development (Planning and Lands), will assume the post of Permanent Secretary for the Civil Service on September 14, 2015. He will succeed Raymond Wong Hung-chiu, who will retire after more than 35 years of service.