Political aide unlikely to join new Leung team

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 May, 2012, 12:00am


Political assistant for education Jeremy Young Chit-on says he is unlikely to join Leung Chun-ying's administration.

Asked about his chances of serving another term, Young - one of the nine political aides - said it was unlikely, but that a final decision had not been made.

His remarks came as Leung's recruitment for undersecretaries and political assistants closes today. Young, a member of the Liberal Party, is one of the five political assistants reported to be unlikely to stay.

The others are Paul Chan Chi-yuen at the Food and Health Bureau, Linda Choy Siu-min at the Environment Bureau, Katherine Ng Kit-shuen at the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, and Frankie Yip, who assists the financial secretary.

'It is important [for political assistants like me] to get along with ministers and our working styles should match. So far, the selection of ministers has not been announced and the ministers who can help pick their assistants have not made a final decision,' Young said.

'For my post, I am not responsible for any specific policy initiative. Having served in this post for four years, I have many more considerations this time about whether I should I do another five years ... The considerations include the job's nature and whether the job is challenging.'

He declined to say if he foresaw the job of political assistant becoming more challenging.

With Leung's administration proposing a pay cut for political assistants, Young, a father of two, said pay was just one of his considerations. He also hinted, when asked about his chances of joining the fray for the Liberal Party, that it would be too late for him to prepare to contest September's Legislative Council election.

But he did not rule out serving as a party adviser for the polls.

Asked if he would quit, Paul Chan said he would announce his plan 'at an appropriate time'. Pressed on whether Leung had invited him to stay, Chan said it would be improper for him to say.

'I and my colleagues have given our utmost efforts in doing every task. I will not consider whether I can serve another term while I am still performing my duties. I have no regrets at all.'

Caspar Tsui Ying-wai, the political assistant to home affairs chief Tsang Tak-sing, said he was busy doing his job and had no time to think about whether to stay or quit.

Government figures released yesterday show that the political assistant to the secretary for financial services and the treasury, Ng, attended 14 Legco meetings since August 2008, the least among the political appointees. She was followed by Young, who attended 15 Legco meetings and District Council functions.

Young joined 177 public forums - the second most of any assistant. Chan was the assistant who attended most Legco meetings and District Council functions - 65 - followed by Tsui, who attended 62. Ng attended 14 meetings - the least among all. Chan attended the fewest public forums - 58.