Scandal-plagued chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying yesterday unveiled the team that will lead Hong Kong's fourth post-handover administration, which he said would work to change the slow pace of development in recent years.
Introducing an incomplete team within the existing government structure as his reorganisation plan is still stranded in the Legislative Council, Leung said his ministers were outstanding and shared his vision.
'My governing team shares the same vision with me - seeking changes while preserving stability,' said Leung, who is still entangled in a row over illegal structures at his property on The Peak. 'It is our common wish ... to change the prolonged sluggishness of our economic and social development.'
Seven incumbent ministers will stay on in the new cabinet. As widely tipped, Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor - the only woman in the cabinet team - will take over as the chief secretary. The others who are staying on will continue in their current roles, including Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah.
New faces include Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, a former chairman of the Bar Association succeeding Wong Yan-lung. Three of the new recruits are professionals and one is an Executive Councillor. Another two ministers were incumbent or retired civil servants. Lai Tung-kwok was promoted from undersecretary rank to become security minister.
With two deputies for the chief secretary and finance chief, and two bureau heads missing yesterday, Leung said: 'I will strive for the Legco passage of my government reshuffling plan as soon as possible.'
Facing questions about his integrity in handling the controversy over his illegal structures, Leung said he would settle the case and stand accountable to the public. He also pledged that the team would visit all 18 districts by mid-July.
'Officials should constantly keep track of the people's sentiment ... we will embark on territory-wide district visits,' he said. His top aide, Lam, said upholding core values was among her top priorities.
'Upholding the city's core values, including integrity and freedom, is among my four working principles,' said Lam, who also included improving executive-legislative relations and offering support to civil servants.
Shedding further light on the issue of freedom, incoming justice minister Yuen said national security legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law was 'not an item in [my] working plan'.
With the new structure pending approval, Exco member Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung will be sworn in as secretary for transport and housing on July 1, but upon the reshuffle he will become secretary for housing, planning and lands.
Retired civil servant Mak Chai-kwong succeeds Carrie Lam as development secretary, but under the new structure he will serve as secretary for transport and works.
Newcomer Wong Kam-sing, an architect, will head the Environment Bureau. His predecessor Edward Yau Tang-wah will serve as director of the Chief Executive's Office.
Orthopaedic specialist and former Hospital Authority director Dr Ko Wing-man takes over the food and health portfolio. Human resources consultant Eddie Ng Hak-kim becomes education minister.
The most controversial among other key appointments announced after Beijing's approval was accountant David Sun Tak-kei as the first non-civil servant director of audit, the office responsible for checks and balances on government accounts.
Former civil service minister Joseph Wong Wing-ping, who is now a commentator, said the cabinet was 'without surprise'.