Carrie Lam

Secretary's short-lived stint with press pack

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 June, 2015, 4:33pm

The top media aide at the Chief Secretary's Office has become one of the most short-lived press secretaries in recent years, as Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor replaced Gilford Law Sun-on this week. Law made way for new press secretary Andy Lam Siu-hong after only 18 months in the job from November 2011, during Stephen Lam Sui-lung's term as chief secretary. Government postings usually last for at least three years; Law's predecessor Darryl Chan Wai-man stayed for more than four years from 2007. Law took pains to dismiss talk of discord with the chief secretary, emphasising that he was leaving for a new posting - which the Civil Service Bureau has yet to announce. He is rumoured to be the new Kwun Tong district officer. The appointment of Andy Lam, meanwhile, comes on the heels of former social welfare director Patrick Nip Tak-kuen joining the office as director of special duties. A graduate from the University of Hong Kong's law school, he is seen as a rising star in government, having ascended to the post of assistant tourism commissioner after about a decade in public service. Tony Cheung


Some whistle-blowers have all the luck

The act of whistle-blowing can bring extreme danger. US Army private Bradley Manning is said to be held in harsh conditions akin to torture for leaking classified documents. Former CIA analyst Edward Snowden has been branded a traitor by his country. In this respect, a former information technology chief in the Hong Kong government who caused a stir exactly two years ago is more fortunate. Jeremy Godfrey, who in 2011 alleged high-level political interference in the awarding of a multimillion-dollar contract for electronic learning services, has recently landed a new job in Ireland. With almost three decades of experience, Godfrey is now a commissioner at the Commission for Communications Regulation, which oversees the Irish telecommunications industry. He earns €158,000 (HK$1.64 million) per annum - a pay cut of 24 per cent from his previous HK$180,000 a month. Still not a bad deal, compared to other whistle-blowers. Joshua But


Exco convenor speaks for universal suffrage

The call from pan-democrats to abolish all functional constituencies in 2020 may be a tired idea by now, but Executive Council convenor Lam Woon-kwong caught many by surprise when he raised it on Monday. Lam, speaking on Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing's online talk show on Our TV, proposed all Legislative Council seats must be elected by universal suffrage in 2020 - echoing the Democrats' repeated calls as the government remains tight-lipped about when public consultation will start. Lam also suggested two-thirds of seats be elected by a "simple majority", or a "single-seat, single-vote" system, while the rest continued to be subject to the current proportional representation system that returns half the seats. He drew a lukewarm response from the pro-government camp, which dominated the trade-based functional constituencies and hence Legco.

Tony Cheung