Bid­ding farewell

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY

Fi­nan­cial Sec­re­tary John Tsang Chun-wah waves to the me­dia out­side the Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment Com­plex on Mon­day after he an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion from the fi­nan­cial sec­re­tary’s of­fice.

Hong Kong’s Fi­nan­cial Sec­re­tary John Tsang Chun-wah re­signed from his post on Mon­day.

The city’s Chief Ex­ec­u­tive (CE) Le­ung Chun-ying had re­ceived Tsang’s res­ig­na­tion and sub­mit­ted it to the cen­tral gov­ern­ment for ap­proval, a Hong Kong gov­ern­ment state­ment said Mon­day af­ter­noon.

Tsang will go on leave from Tues­day. Sec­re­tary for Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices and the Trea­sury Cea­jer Chan Ka-ke­ung will be the act­ing fi­nan­cial sec­re­tary dur­ing the in­terim.

In a spe­cial press brief­ing Mon­day evening, Tsang, 65, ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to the cen­tral gov­ern­ment, the in­cum­bent CE Le­ung and two former chief ex­ec­u­tives — Tung Chee-hwa and Don­ald Tsang Yam-kuen — for their sup­port and en­cour­age­ment dur­ing his years in the gov­ern­ment.

John Tsang also thanked the civil ser­vants and Hong Kong peo­ple.

He said he will con­sider thor­oughly whether or not to run in the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive elec­tion next year.

Born in Hong Kong, Tsang moved to the United States with his fam­ily at the age of 13. He moved back to Hong Kong in the 1980s and joined the Hong Kong gov­ern­ment.

After serv­ing in sev­eral gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, he was nom­i­nated as the city’s fi­nan­cial sec­re­tary in 2007 by former chief ex­ec­u­tive Don­ald Tsang and had taken up the post ever since.

Dur­ing his time in of­fice, John Tsang sub­mit­ted nine an­nual bud­gets which were of­ten as­so­ci­ated with sweet­en­ers — sur­plus rev­enue dis­trib­uted by the gov­ern­ment to boost the econ­omy.

His res­ig­na­tion came after Le­ung an­nounced on Fri­day that he would not seek re­elec­tion in 2017 due to fam­ily rea­sons.

Also fol­low­ing Le­ung’s an­nounce­ment, Chief Sec­re­tary for Ad­min­is­tra­tion Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Satur­day that she would re­con­sider the pos­si­bil­ity of run­ning for the CE post due to the “dra­matic changes” brought by Le­ung’s de­ci­sion.

Leg­is­la­tor and former sec­re­tary for se­cu­rity Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee had also ex­pressed will­ing­ness to join the race. Ac­cord­ing to ear­lier news re­ports, it is un­der­stood that Ip will hold a press con­fer­ence later this week to an­nounce her de­ci­sion.

On Oct 27, re­tired judge Woo Kwok-hing be­came the first to throw his hat in the ring for the CE elec­tion in March 2017.

A new term of the 1,200-strong Elec­tion Com­mit­tee, which is re­spon­si­ble for choos­ing the city’s top leader, was formed on Mon­day, after elec­tions of the com­mit­tee’s var­i­ous sub­sec­tors were suc­cess­fully con­ducted with a his­toric high turnout rate of 46 per­cent.

The CE elec­tion will take place on March 26, 2017, and the win­ner will as­sume of­fice about three months later.

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