Appointment of Principal Officials announced (with photos/videos)

     The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, announced today (September 30) that the Central People's Government had approved the resignation of Mr Henry Tang as Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and his recommendation to appoint Mr Stephen Lam as Chief Secretary for Administration and Mr Raymond Tam as Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs.

     "Stephen has extensive experience in public service. He has been serving as a Principal Official for almost a decade, and has tackled important and thorny issues, including having secured a timetable leading to the full implementation of universal suffrage in Hong Kong.  He has also succeeded in making progress for the two sets of elections in 2012," the Chief Executive said.

     "Stephen has achieved many breakthroughs in our cooperation with the Mainland. These include having the SAR's unique role firmly established in the National 12th Five-Year Plan; and fostering momentous growth in our ties with the neighbouring Guangdong Province."

     "Stephen is a team player, and a man of resolve and perseverance. He is blessed with exceptional competence in planning and supervision.  In the next few months, he will help me lead the policy bureaux to implement what I am going to put into my next Policy Address.  He will also support me in preparing for a smooth handover between the current term and next term of government.  We shall ensure a seamless transition of government next year," Mr Tsang said.

     As Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Lam will chair major boards and committees, including those for the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and the Community Care Fund.

     As regards the newly-appointed Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, the Chief Executive said that Mr Raymond Tam had served in the Administrative Service for years before he became Under Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs.  He would bring with him a wealth of experience as he took over the new post.

     "Raymond is competent and has outstanding inter-personal skills. As Director of the Chief Executive's Office, he has been most proficient in helping me manage my daily work over the past two years. At the same time, he has strengthened the administration's positive interaction with major political parties and various sectors. He is a consensus builder," Mr Tsang said.  

     "Raymond will oversee the several elections, which are just around the corner. These electoral exercises will pave the way for full-scale universal suffrage in Hong Kong. He will also gear up the SAR's collaboration with the Mainland in a whole range of areas. These two missions are of far-reaching significance for Hong Kong's long-term development," Mr Tsang continued.

     Professor Gabriel Leung will fill the post of the Director of the Chief Executive's Office.  

     "Gabriel has won high acclaims for his performance as Under Secretary for Food and Health. Over the past two years, he has shown considerable political talent, capable of building a good rapport with stakeholders from both within and outside the Government.  I am sure he will rise to the new challenge and make signal contribution in his new post," Mr Tsang said.

     "Stephen, Raymond and Gabriel have something in common. They are persons of great integrity, dependable, capable and passionate in serving Hong Kong.  And they have persevered in adversity.  My team will strive till the very end of our term," Mr Tsang stressed.

     The Chief Executive thanked Mr Henry Tang again for his dedication in serving the community, and wished him every success in his future endeavours.

     Brief biographical notes on the three newly-appointed officials are set out below :

Mr Stephen Lam

     Aged 55.  Mr Lam joined the Administrative Service in 1978.  He rose to the rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade A in 1998 and then to the rank of Director of Bureau in 2001.

     Mr Lam has served in various government departments.  Senior positions held by Mr Lam in recent years include: Director, Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in Toronto; Deputy Secretary for Constitutional Affairs; Director, Handover Ceremony Co-ordination Office; Director of Administration and Development in Department of Justice, and Information Co-ordinator.

     Mr Lam was Secretary for Constitutional Affairs from July 2002 to June 2007. He has been reappointed Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs since July 2007.  

Mr Raymond Tam

     Aged 47.  Mr Tam joined the Administrative Service in 1987.  He rose to the rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade B in 2007.  Mr Tam has served in various policy bueaux and departments, including the Home Affairs Bureau, the Central Policy Unit, the former Constitutional Affairs Bureau, the Financial Secretary's Office, the Chief Executive's Office, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Geneva, and the Information Services Department.

     Mr Tam joined the team of political appointees in 2008 when he was appointed as Under Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs.  He has been the Director of the Chief Executive's Office since August 2009.

Professor Gabriel Leung

     Aged 38.  Professor Leung has been appointed Under Secretary for Food and Health since 2008.  Prior to joining the government's team of political appointees, Professor Leung was Professor in Translational Public Health at the University of Hong Kong from 1999 to 2008. His research and teaching focused on high impact public health issues in Hong Kong SAR, the mainland and East Asia.

     Professor Leung was Vice President and Censor in Public Health Medicine of the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine, and served as consultant to various national and international agencies including the World Health Organisation and World Bank.

Ends/Friday, September 30, 2011
Issued at HKT 14:26