Recruitment for five bureau posts extended
Colleen Lee and Stuart Lau
A selection committee chaired by incoming chief executive Leung Chun-ying failed to shortlist at least two preferred candidates undersecretary posts in five bureaus for ministers-in-waiting to choose from.
It has decided to reopen recruitment for undersecretaries for the bureaus of security, transport and works, environment, constitutional and mainland affairs, and food and health for two days until tomorrow. The previous applications ran from May 17 to 31.
The decision came as the scheduled five-day interview period that began last Wednesday to fill 13 undersecretary posts in Leung's cabinet came to an end yesterday.
Thirty-nine candidates selected from about 300 applicants met the five-member selection committee chaired by Leung over the past week.
But Leung said for five out of 13 bureaus in need of undersecretaries, they had just found one suitable candidate, short of the target number of two or above. He said they had found one suitable candidate for each of the five bureaus but needed a short-list of two to give ministers a choice.
'We hope to give more choices to ministers so as to ensure that we can recruit talented people,' he said.
For the post of undersecretary for environment, at least two known candidates were interviewed, including William Yu Yuen-ping, head of WWF Hong Kong's climate programme, and Antiquities Advisory Board member Henry Ho Kin-chung.
Among the known or rumoured interviewees for the undersecretary posts, at least four candidates had political affiliations when applying.
They included Andrew Fung Wai-kwong, who quit the Democratic Party last Thursday, and welfare policy specialist Chua Hoi-wai, who left the Civic Party last Wednesday.
Also included were former labour-sector lawmaker Kwong Chi-kin of the Federation of Trade Unions, and Lawrence Ma Yan-kwok, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.
The committee has not yet begun to shortlist some 700 candidates for political assistant posts.
Federation honorary president Cheng Yiu-tong yesterday disclosed that in addition to Kwong, he had nominated another member to be a political assistant but declined to name the person or the bureau the candidate was applying for.