HK gets its first female customs chief as Louise Ho takes the helm 30 years after joining the agency

22-Oct-2021 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong is marking the first time a woman has risen through the ranks to head one of its disciplined services after Beijing unveiled Louise Ho Pui-shan as the city’s new customs chief.

According to Xinhua, the State Council appointed the 53-year-old deputy commissioner of the Customs and Excise Department on Monday to succeed retiring head Hermes Tang Yi-hoi, 57, based on the recommendation of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

Ho will take charge of the 8,000-strong law enforcement agency with immediate effect and is expected to meet the press on Thursday.

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Ho climbed the ladder at the traditionally male-dominated law enforcement agency and was tipped for the top job when she became its No 2 officer in 2019.

The first woman to head a Hong Kong disciplined service was career bureaucrat Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who was parachuted straight to the top of the Immigration Department in 1996.

Currently a lawmaker who also sits on the Executive Council, Ip ran the Immigration Department for two years before becoming security minister.

Ho joined customs in 1991. In previous postings, she worked on high-profile assignments, including the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, and was tasked with the smooth launch of both projects.

She was also the head of Customs’ Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau, before rising to assistant commissioner and being responsible for intelligence and investigation.

As the head of customs she will sit on the Committee for Safeguarding National Security, which is chaired by Hong Kong’s leader. The body was set up in the city to oversee the enforcement of the national security law, which prohibits acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

Ho’s husband is Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang Kwok-wai, a former director of immigration.

Her younger sister Doris Ho Pui-ling heads the Policy Innovation and Coordination Office, and before her January promotion, was deputy secretary for development (planning and lands) at the Development Bureau.


Category: Hong Kong

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