NPC deputy Maria Tam admits she has cancer

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 March, 2004, 12:00am

NPC deputy Maria Tam Wai-chu yesterday confirmed she was suffering from ovarian cancer.

Ms Tam, 58, the vice-convenor of the Hong Kong delegation to the National People's Congress, thanked people for their concerns about her health.

She said she had an ovary removed at the first stage of the cancer.

'I'm now recovering, please don't worry about me,' she wrote in a statement.

Ms Tam, who is also a Basic Law Committee member, has been an NPC deputy since 1998.

She and Ng Ching-fai were elected vice-convenors of the delegation this month.

Her illness came to light after the delegation's convenor, Yuen Mo, said in Beijing yesterday she had taken leave and would not attend the opening of the NPC today.

Mr Yuen said Ms Tam was recovering after an operation.

Ms Tam, who is a barrister, has served on several public bodies, including the board of the Airport Authority. She was a member of the Legislative Council and the Executive Council in the 1980s.

In the recent debate on the city's constitutional development, Ms Tam publicly opposed universal suffrage for the vote on the chief executive in 2007 and the entire legislature in 2008.

She said it ran against the principle of 'gradual and orderly progress' under the Basic Law.