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Transcript of remarks by CE at media session (with photo/video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at a media session at the ground floor lobby of the Office of the Chief Executive at Tamar today (July 21):

Chief Executive: The State Council, on my nomination and recommendation, today 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.

     Mr Tsang Tak-sing and Mr Paul Tang have served Hong Kong and the Government with integrity and dedication over the years. I commend their outstanding performances and would like to extend my sincere thanks for their contributions.

     I would also like to emphasise that change in the appointment of the Secretary for the Civil Service will not affect the system or established practice of the civil service. There is no other change in Politically Appointed Officials in the pipeline.

     I will also like to say a few words on the appointment of Mr Lau Kong-wah and Mr Clement Cheung. Mr Lau has ample political and administrative experience. He joined the 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.

     I am confident that Mr Lau and Mr Clement Cheung are competent for their new posts and would lead their respective policy bureaus in serving the community and the people of Hong Kong. In particular, I believe that Mr Cheung will be able to forge a strong partnership between the Government and the civil service.

Reporter: Mr Leung, what's the reason for the change in the officials now? Why now and the reason for that? And have they resigned or are they being told to leave?

Chief Executive: I shouldn't discuss in public the background, the details, of these changes, but suffice to say that both gentlemen will soon issue a press release in their own names and you will be able to find out the reason why. Perhaps I should also say here - I'll say this in English and I'll follow up in Chinese as well - the practice on the part of the Central Government nowadays with regard to appointment and removal of Principal Officials, as you saw when we had an outgoing Commissioner of Police and an incoming Commissioner of Police not long ago, is that announcement and the effective date of appointments or removals are on the same day, and this is the practice of the Central Government.

Reporter: Mr Leung, can you explain why Florence Hui, who has served as the Under Secretary for more than seven years, is not the better candidate to succeed Mr Tsang? And the second question is, would there be any conflict of interest to appoint a DAB veteran to chair a bureau which is in charge of resource allocation in the district level? Thank you.

Chief Executive: As usual, we pick the best person for the position. Mr Lau Kong-wah is well experienced at district work. Sorry, I missed the second part of your question.

Reporter: The first part is why isn't Florence Hui, who has served as Under Secretary for seven years ....

Chief Executive: That's the first part, which I answered.

Reporter: And the second question is, would there be any conflict of interest to appoint a DAB veteran to be in charge of resource allocation in the district level?

Chief Executive: No, there's no conflict of interest at all. We follow the same system in allocating resources to the various groups and personalities on the district level.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:10


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