The political assistant to the city's labour chief announced yesterday she was quitting, but denied it was because of discontent with the administration of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
Zandra Mok Yee-tuen also dismissed suggestions her departure had anything to do with the recent resignations of executive councillor Franklin Lam Fan-keung and Henry Ho Kin-chung, who was political assistant to development minister Paul Chan Mo-po.
Lam's resignation on August 1 was prompted by criticism last year that he made use of insider information to sell two flats ahead of new stamp duties, and came even though prosecutors found insufficient evidence to charge him with any crime. Ho resigned a day later after admitting he failed to declare that his family owned land in Kwu Tung earmarked for a new town.
Chan has faced calls to quit because his family owns farmland in Kwu Tung that will be resumed for the development.
Mok, 39, told the Sunday Morning Post: "The most important is really my family. It is not what commentators were speculating about. As a mother, the needs of my children comes first." She said she had tried to strike a balance between work and family, but realised the time had come to make a choice.
She will leave her post on August 24.
Political observers were unconvinced, and suggested Mok was disillusioned with Leung's government.
Speaking to Cable TV earlier yesterday, Mok sidestepped questions about her thoughts on the recent controversies and whether they had anything to do with her departure.
Mok has been political assistant to the secretary for labour and welfare since 2008 and before that a reporter with TVB. She is a member of the think tank 30SGroup which supported a campaign against teaching national education in schools.
Political scientist Dr Dixon Sing Ming, of the University of Science and Technology, was not convinced by Mok's explanation.
"Her children are not new-born babies … so I think there is little possibility she is [really] quitting because of family reasons," Sing said. "[Her group] supported the anti-national-education campaign."