Drama behind him, Frederick Ma is now happy with his lot
Frederick Ma Si-hang seems to pick dramatic moments to make big decisions.
When he suddenly resigned as commerce minister in 2008 it was in the middle of a No 8 typhoon.
Back in 2002 when he decided to take the blame for the "penny stocks" affair and bow deeply in front of his accusers, it was during a No 8 typhoon.
And the cloud over his resignation still lingers.
Some believe political considerations and the government's unpopularity, rather than his health, were behind his decision to stand down.
But he cites his improved health as evidence that he did not lie on that tempestuous afternoon five years ago.
He attributes his improved condition to a balanced life that he has established as a semi-retired businessman and family man, though he does not rule out taking up more public posts.
He is still busy, serving as a director of Husky Energy, Hutchison Port Holdings, Agricultural Bank of China, Aluminum Corporation of China, China Mobile and the MTR Corporation.
Yet he says the non-executive directorships still leave him with much more free time than he had in his six years in government.
"It confirms that my resignation was due to health worries," Ma says. "I have honoured my word because I am healthier" - and lighter.
Ma says he finds time to exercise every day - everything from hiking to working out in the gym. He also has more time to spend with his wife and two daughters.
"I also have many family gatherings, and quality family time," he says. "These were impossible in the past - I even had to talk to my wife through my secretary because I did not have the time!"
Ma joined the administration in 2002 at the invitation of then chief executive Tung Chee-hwa as one of the first batch of political appointees - ministers hand-picked by the chief executive who did not rise through the civil service.
But serving the public proved rather different from his previous job as executive director of PCCW.
He saw his public support ratings plummet over the publication of a report suggesting that penny stocks and loss-making companies be removed from the stock market. But it slowly recovered from a rating of 38.2 points out of 100 a year after the stocks row to 55.5 points when he quit.
Weeks after his resignation, his rating in the University of Hong Kong poll reached 63.4 points.
At the time, commentators suggested the surge in support was down to sympathy for Ma after he revealed a brain condition caused by malformation of the blood vessels. It came at a time of stagnating support for Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's government.
Ma's appointment to the MTR Corporation's board last month sparked renewed speculation that he might succeed Raymond Chien Kuo-fung as the rail company's chairman in 2015.
While declining to comment on the possibility, Ma hinted that he wanted to keep his options open.
"I don't think I need to return to the government to serve the public because I'm looking for, and in fact having, a balanced life.," he says.
"I enjoy good health … I have a good family life, and I can serve the public - It's a good formula."