Member of HK’s biggest pro-Beijing party appointed undersecretary for constitutional and mainland affairs

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

A former district councillor with Hong Kong’s biggest pro-establishment party has been appointed to a high-ranking post overseeing the city’s constitutional affairs, eight months after it was vacated.

Clement Woo Kin-man, an auxiliary police officer who sat on the Tai Po District Council from 2016 to 2019, is set to take up his duties as undersecretary for constitutional and mainland affairs on Thursday, succeeding Andy Chan Shui-fu, who resigned in February for health reasons.

Woo will be the seventh political appointee from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) to serve in Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s administration. The others are home affairs chief Caspar Tsui Ying-wai and Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui Ching-yu, along with one more undersecretary and three political assistants.

By comparison, the Liberal Party has two political appointees in the administration, while the Federation of Trade Unions has one.

“[Woo] has made notable contributions to society through his participation in various government statutory and advisory bodies including the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, the Family Council and the Basic Law Promotion Steering Committee, as well as his service as an auxiliary police officer,” said a government statement announcing the Beijing-friendly politician’s appointment on Monday.

Woo said he was delighted to have the opportunity to serve Hong Kong and China in his new position, saying his first task would be helping administer the coming Legislative Council election, which was postponed from last year to December 19.

Woo lost his seat on the Tai Po District Council in an opposition landslide fuelled by the anti-government protests of 2019. He was subsequently appointed by the government as chair of Tai Po South Area Committee.

It was rumoured in May that another DAB member and former district councillor, Chris Ip Ngo-tung, would actually be filling the vacancy at the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau. But reports later suggested Ip was passed over in the final round of the hiring process, with the post going to Woo instead.

The leadership of the bureau has been shaken up since secretary Eric Tsang Kwok-wai, formerly the immigration chief, took the helm in April last year. Since then, both of the political appointees under him have jumped ship.

Following the resignation of Chan in February, Kenneth Ng King-tsun, a political assistant to Tsang, also left the bureau in August, moving to the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority to become general manager for communications and public affairs.

Ng was the fourth political appointee to quit the administration since Lam took office in July of 2017.

Woo on Monday declined to comment on the delay in the appointment process, adding he had “full confidence” that he could work alongside Tsang.

“People resigned for different reasons,” he said.


Category: Hong Kong

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