Tributes pour in for NT leader Lau
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.
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.