Beijing appoints John Lee's governing team - RTHK
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Beijing appoints John Lee's governing team

2022-06-19 HKT 11:41
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  • The Chief Executive-designate John Lee says he has thanked the central government for approving his 26 nominations. Image: RTHK
    The Chief Executive-designate John Lee says he has thanked the central government for approving his 26 nominations. Image: RTHK
The State Council on Sunday appointed the principal officials of Chief Executive-designate John Lee’s cabinet.

Eric Chan, director of the Chief Executive’s Office under outgoing leader Carrie Lam, has been named Chief Secretary; incumbent financial chief Paul Chan will stay on, and senior counsel Paul Lam is named Secretary for Justice.

Like John Lee, Eric Chan has years of experience in the disciplinary services under his belt. He joined the Immigration Department in 1982, and was appointed Director of Immigration in 2011. In 2017, outgoing Chief Executive Carrie Lam named him the head of the CE’s office, before he was also appointed Secretary General of the SAR’s Committee for Safeguarding National Security in 2020.

Eric Chan was among about a dozen mainland and SAR officials, including Carrie Lam and John Lee, who were sanctioned by the United States in August 2020 under an order by the then president Donald Trump on grounds that they had undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy, a charge denied by the central and SAR governments.

As part of the major restructuring of the administration, John Lee has installed deputy ministers to his top aides.

Cheuk Wing-hing, who retired from the civil service in 2019, will come back to assist Eric Chan. Michael Wong, current development secretary, will be deputy to Paul Chan. And DAB lawmaker Horace Cheung will be appointed Deputy Secretary for Justice.

Cheuk steadily climbed up the career ladder in the government, serving in different offices, departments and bureaus since he joined as an administrative officer in 1982.

Among the posts he held, was head of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, and the Labour Department. He was appointed permanent secretary to the Innovation and Technology Bureau in 2015 before retiring.

He is now a consultant to the financial secretary’s private office.

The incoming justice secretary, Paul Lam, was called to the Bar in 1992 and was appointed senior counsel in 2013. He was the chairman of the Bar Association in 2017 and has been sitting as a deputy judge at the High Court since 2015.

He has held a number of public offices over the years, including chairman of the Consumer Council. He has also been a member of the Operations Review Committee of the ICAC, and a member of the Independent Police Complaints Council.

Chief Executive-designate John Lee thanked the central government for approving his 26 nominations, as well as for the trust shown in him and his governing team.