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New talents face political test

Eddie Luk and Mary Ann Benitez

Thursday, November 01, 2012

A government administrative officer and a nursing academic have been appointed undersecretaries in the second batch of political appointees.

From today, Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, the principal assistant secretary for food and health, will be the undersecretary for education while Sophia Chan Siu-chee, professor in nursing and director of research at the University of Hong Kong's School of Nursing, will be undersecretary for food and health.

The government also appointed five political assistants, including three who are former journalists.

Yeung, 49, is the first administrative officer to leave the civil service to become a political appointee in Chief Executive Leung Chun- ying's administration.

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Education-sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen said he hopes Yeung will listen to the opinions of the sector when he helps Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim map out policies, particularly on the launch of small-class teaching in schools.

Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing- man said Chan is experienced in public health and nursing and he expects her to make contributions to the bureau.

Louis Shih Tai-cho, council member of the Hong Kong Medical Association, said Chan's appointment is "quite acceptable."

Yeung and Chan will receive HK$183,000 a month while each of the political assistants will earn HK$98,700.

Among the new political assistants are veteran journalist and public relations consultant Carmen Cheung Sau-lai and veteran reporter Law Wing-chung, who will work under Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, respectively.

Jeff Sze Chun-fai, a former school teacher and executive director at the Savantas Policy Institute, will serve as Ng's political assistant.

Zandra Mok Yee-tuen, another former journalist who was political assistant to Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung from 2008 until June, returns to that position.

Retired chief superintendent of police Cassius Lau Fu-sang will serve as security chief Lai Tung-kwok's political assistant.


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