Lam af­firms SAR’s of­fi­cials ap­pointed on merit

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By LUIS LIU in Hong Kong luis­liu@chi­nadai­

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor stressed on Tues­day that merit is the guid­ing prin­ci­ple in form­ing her gov­ern­ing team.

She made the re­mark after ap­point­ing 10 un­der sec­re­taries and eight po­lit­i­cal as­sis­tants to her ad­min­is­tra­tion on Tues­day.

“Re­cruit­ing tal­ent on merit is the guid­ing prin­ci­ple for form­ing the gov­ern­ing team,” she said.

Lam said the newly ap­pointed un­der sec­re­taries and po­lit­i­cal as­sis­tants agree with her man­i­festo and share her phi­los­o­phy of gov­er­nance for the new-term ad­min­is­tra­tion.

In her elec­tion cam­paign, Car­rie Lam vowed that mem­bers of her ad­min­is­tra­tion would be “pas­sion­ate, capa- ble and com­mit­ted”.

The newly ap­pointed of­fi­cials will con­trib­ute to their re­spec­tive pol­icy ar­eas by help­ing the sec­re­taries li­aise ex­ten­sively with var­i­ous sec­tors of the com­mu­nity and strengthen com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the gov­ern­ment and leg­is­la­ture, she said.

They will also gauge views from dif­fer­ent chan­nels and ex­plain gov­ern­ment poli­cies and mea­sures to achieve ef­fec­tive gov­er­nance and build a bet­ter Hong Kong, Lam added.

Ap­pointees in­cluded Un­der Sec­re­tary for Ed­u­ca­tion Chris­tine Choi Yuk-lin, for­mer vice-chair­woman of a key ed­u­ca­tion group — the Hong Kong Fed­er­a­tion of Ed­u­ca­tion Work­ers.

Choi, 50, has worked in the ed­u­ca­tion field for more than 20 years, teach­ing in sec­ondary schools for more than a decade since 1988.

In 2013, she be­came prin­ci­pal of Fukien Sec­ondary School (Siu Sai Wan). She took part in so­cial and ed­u­ca­tional work at the time, in­clud­ing set­ting up the Hong Kong Teach­ers Dream Fund.

Choi also served on the Fight Crime Com­mit­tee and the Com­mis­sion on Youth.

The new Un­der Sec­re­tary for Se­cu­rity, Sonny Au Chik­wong, was for­merly di­rec­tor of crime and se­cu­rity of the Hong Kong Po­lice Force.

Au joined the Hong Kong Po­lice Force in 1980 and worked his way up.

Po­lice wel­come the ap­point­ment of Au. “We be­lieve that Mr Au will co-or­di­nate all dis­ci­plined ser­vices de­part­ments within the Se­cu­rity Bureau with a view to pro­vid­ing qual­ity ser­vices to mem­bers of the pub­lic,” the po­lice said.

The Of­fice of the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive an­nounced on Tues­day the ap­point­ments of 10 un­der sec­re­taries for pol­icy bureaus, in­clud­ing Chris­tine Choi Yuk-lin as un­der sec­re­tary for ed­u­ca­tion. Choi’s ap­point­ment was widely ex­pected de­spite fa­nat­i­cal op­po­si­tion from the “pan-demo­crat” camp, mo­ti­vated by sheer po­lit­i­cal bias and fear for pa­tri­o­tism. Some prom­i­nent op­po­si­tion fig­ures went so far as to warn CE Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet­ngor that it would be declar­ing war against the “pan-democrats” if she ap­points Choi as un­der sec­re­tary for ed­u­ca­tion. They prac­ti­cally ac­cused her of fur­ther di­vid­ing so­ci­ety by ap­point­ing Choi be­fore she made the an­nounce­ment.

In re­sponse, Lam has said more than once re­cently she would ap­point can­di­dates for un­der sec­re­tary posts on their pro­fes­sional mer­its and will­ing­ness to ex­e­cute gov­ern­ment poli­cies ef­fec­tively as well as com­mit­ment to serv­ing Hong Kong ac­cord­ing to the Ba­sic Law and other laws. In­deed Choi is well qual­i­fied for the job with many years of ex­pe­ri­ence as an ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cial be­fore as­sum­ing the po­si­tion of sec­ondary school prin­ci­pal for three years. More im­por­tantly, she shares Lam’s vi­sion and phi­los­o­phy about ed­u­ca­tion re­form and development.

The op­po­si­tion camp, mean­while, fiercely op­poses Choi’s ap­point­ment purely be­cause she was a vice-chair­per­son of the Hong Kong Fed­er­a­tion of Ed­u­ca­tion Work­ers, which is la­beled “proBei­jing” by the op­po­si­tion camp, par­tic­u­larly the Hong Kong Pro­fes­sional Teach­ers Union. The op­po­nents fear Choi would rein­tro­duce na­tional ed­u­ca­tion as a stan­dard cur­ricu­lum in pri­mary and sec­ondary schools, which they de­mo­nized in “white terror” fash­ion a few years ago and la­beled pa­tri­o­tism a bad thing. And the prime rea­son be­hind their ha­tred for pa­tri­o­tism is the po­lit­i­cal bias they har­bored against the po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tion prac­ticed on the main­land.

It is also such po­lit­i­cal bias that is at the heart of all ef­forts by the op­po­si­tion camp to un­der­mine the law­ful ad­min­is­tra­tion of the SAR gov­ern­ment. This is be­cause they sim­ply can­not rec­on­cile with the fact that Hong Kong is now a spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China (PRC), which has been gov­erned by the Com­mu­nist Party of China for nearly 70 years. In a way they re­sent ev­ery­thing about the PRC be­cause of this con­sti­tu­tional re­al­ity. They con­se­quently refuse to ac­cept any pa­triot as a top ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cial for Hong Kong. They firmly be­lieve the best way to con­tinue their anti-com­mu­nist cru­sade is maintaining an army of po­lit­i­cal fa­nat­ics brain­washed since first day in school.

This po­lit­i­cal bias was also in­stru­men­tal in help­ing the op­po­si­tion block the SAR gov­ern­ment’s first at­tempt to in­tro­duce na­tional ed­u­ca­tion back in 2012. And the op­po­si­tion is afraid Choi’s ap­point­ment would pave the way for the gov­ern­ment to try na­tional ed­u­ca­tion again in the near fu­ture. To in­dulge this fear they have been do­ing ev­ery­thing they can to di­vide Hong Kong so­ci­ety with po­lit­i­cal bias. Choi’s ap­point­ment is just an­other ex­cuse for them to keep di­vid­ing so­ci­ety.

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