Trib­utes pour in for NT leader Lau

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By SHADOW LI and WILLA WU in Hong Kong Con­tact the writ­ers at stushadow@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Hong Kong so­ci­ety is sad­dened by the death of po­lit­i­cal heavy­weight Lau Wong-fat, a veteran law­maker and for­mer chair­man of the He­ung Yee Kuk — rep­re­sent­ing the in­dige­nous vil­lagers’ com­mu­ni­ties in the New Ter­ri­to­ries — who was highly praised for his decades of con­tri­bu­tion to the city.

The Hong Kong and Ma­cao Af­fairs Of­fice of the State Coun­cil (HKMAO) on Mon­day ex­pressed con­do­lences on the pass­ing of Lau.

Lau passed away peace­fully on Sun­day at the age of 80 at his home, sur­rounded by mem­bers of his fam­ily, ac­cord­ing to his son Ken­neth Lau Ip-ke­ung. The late Lau was re­garded as a beloved and pow­er­ful head of the ru­ral body, the Kuk, with out­stand­ing lead­er­ship and charisma.

In a state­ment on Mon­day, the HKMAO de­scribed Lau as a pa­triot who ded­i­cated his life to serv­ing Hong Kong so­ci­ety and made pro­found con­tri­bu­tions to Hong Kong’s smooth re­turn to the mother­land and suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of “one coun­try, two sys­tems”, as well as the han­dling of the Kuk’s af­fairs in the New Ter­ri­to­ries.

Wang Guangya, di­rec­tor of the HKMAO, praised Lau’s work in as­sist­ing Hong Kong’s suc­cess­ful re­turn to the mother­land, and main­tain­ing the city’s pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity. Ex­press­ing his deep con­do­lences to Lau’s fam­ily in a writ­ten state­ment, Wang noted that Lau’s love for the coun­try and the city shall be re­mem­bered for­ever.

The Li­ai­son Of­fice of the Cen­tral Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment in the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, in a sep­a­rate state­ment, also praised Lau’s ef­forts in serv­ing the city for decades.

Lau, who led the Kuk in be­ing the first to sup­port China’s re­sum­ing the ex­er­cise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, took an ac­tive role in the draft­ing the Ba­sic Law and the es­tab­lish­ment of the spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion. Af­ter 1997, Lau spared no ef­fort in tak­ing for­ward mat­ters re­lat­ing to the New Ter­ri­to­ries and fa­cil­i­tat­ing the smooth ad­min­is­tra­tion of the gov­ern­ment, as well as the devel­op­ment of Hong Kong, the Li­ai­son Of­fice said.

Qiao Xiaoyang, chair­man of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress Law Com­mit­tee and for­mer chair­man of the Hong Kong SAR Ba­sic Law Com­mit­tee, said he was deeply sad­dened by Lau’s pass­ing away.

In a writ­ten state­ment ex­press­ing con­do­lences, Qiao re­called his days work­ing with Lau in the 1990s when pre­par­ing for Hong Kong’s re­turn to the mother­land, and said he had learned a great deal from Lau, de­scrib­ing Lau as “de­voted” and “de­ter­mined” in devel­op­ing the New Ter­ri­to­ries and guard­ing the vil­lagers’ in­ter­ests.

Qiao noted that Lau had contributed much to the draft­ing and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Ba­sic Law, smooth func­tion­ing of SAR gov­ern­ment af­ter the city’s re­turn to the mother­land, and main­tain­ing Hong Kong’s sta­bil­ity and pros­per­ity.

PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY

Young trainees cel­e­brate at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the Young As­tro­naut Training Camp at Hong Kong Space Mu­seum on Tues­day. The ninth training camp in­cludes eight days’ training in Bei­jing, Ji­uquan and Xi’an.

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