Paul Chan in mix for development post
The administration has discussed the vacant position of development chief with lawmaker Paul Chan Mo-po - already tipped as a candidate for deputy financial secretary.
'If the government invites me [to be secretary for development], I will proactively consider it and I am willing to take it up,' the accountancy sector legislator said on a Commercial Radio programme yesterday.
Asked about his chances of becoming development minister, he said: 'I don't know which possible candidates Mr Leung has talked to, so I have no clue.'
The post became vacant last Thursday, less than two weeks after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's cabinet took office.
Mak Chai-kwong resigned as development minister and was arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption over possible abuse of a government rent allowance in the 1980s.
On Sunday, Leung said he was looking for someone of the right calibre to fill the post.
Chan was asked whether, if appointed to the position, he might switch to the post of deputy financial secretary after the government's restructuring plan is approved. Chan said: 'One day is already a long time in politics.
'When I consider this job [development minister], I don't regard it as a temporary job. If I take it up, I will be dedicated to it.'
Asked how he would feel working for a controversy-ridden new administration, Chan said: 'It needs someone to help out now.'
As an accountancy professional, he rejected suggestions he might not be qualified as development chief, noting that he was a former secretary general of the Construction Industry Training Authority. He said he was also a non-executive director of a listed real estate firm in recent years. Chan insisted that he would not accept a ministerial job just because he wanted to be an official, but rather out of a dedication to serve the city.
Asked about the possibility that Leung might not be able to finish his five-year term, Chan said: 'I have not thought about it ... it will be good enough if a person just makes his or her best effort.'