Disgraced former legislator Gary Cheng Kai-nam yesterday brushed off suggestions that strong ties with Beijing helped land him a job as deputy chief editor at a Chinese-language magazine. The former vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) insisted that his new post at Express Weekly - which starts on February 7 - would not involve politics. His statement follows reports that Mr Cheng used his pro-Beijing background to get a job at the magazine after walking out of jail three weeks ago. Mr Cheng had served 12 months of an 18-month sentence for misconduct in public office, accepting an advantage as a public servant, theft and false accounting. 'Politics is not everything. It is only a small part of life - a part that I hope will fade away slowly,' he said. Chief editor of the magazine, Thomas Lo Sui-sing, who refused to reveal details of how the deal came through and whether a middleman was responsible, insisted that Mr Cheng's pro-Beijing stance had nothing to do with the hiring process. 'I think many people in Hong Kong have close ties with the mainland and key personnel. There are many people who have better expertise than Gary in this area,' said Mr Lo. 'Instead we believe his awareness of current affairs and understanding of Hong Kong people can bring our readers a more in-depth analysis of current issues.' Mr Cheng revealed that his job may involve writing in addition to managerial duties - although he had no experience in journalism and no idea about media ethics. 'This is the first day that I am publicly announcing that I am entering the media industry. Whether we are talking about learning, knowledge or actual practice I will need time to learn,' he said. 'I do not know how to answer questions about media ethics at the moment.' The 52-year-old said he was confident because he had a strong foundation in the industry after years of dealing with the media - the media that he once scorned. Mr Cheng had vowed to take revenge on the local press for uncovering his criminal activity when he went to jail in 2001. News and infotainment magazine Express Weekly is published by South China Media every Thursday and sold for $12.