Chief is said to prefer non-controversial appointees under 45 for senior posts Elsie Leung Oi-sie remained tight-lipped about her future as justice minister yesterday, even as legal circles continued to buzz with the name of her likely successor, Wong Yan-lung. 'It is for the government to announce, not for me to announce or clarify,' the secretary for justice said in reply to questions about her expected departure. Her remarks echoed her consistent response to what she has termed 'rumours' about her impending resignation. Meanwhile, there were suggestions that Mr Wong's likely appointment is in line with a preference by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen for non-controversial candidates under 45 when he picks new members of his administration and of key advisory bodies. Mr Tsang is understood to have told supporters several months ago that the age line of 45 was one of his criteria in such choices. He is also said to want people who are accepted by the community, able to work in harmony with him and who occupy leading positions in their professions. Mr Wong, known for his political neutrality and integrity, has won the acclaim of lawyers and politicians across the political spectrum after the revelation of his expected appointment. But a senior counsel, who declined to be named, said Mr Wong had to declare his positions on various legal issues. These included whether it was legitimate for the Hong Kong government to request the National People's Congress Standing Committee to interpret the Basic Law, as well as whether and when the government should resume moves to introduce national security legislation. The people of Hong Kong should have the right to know where Mr Wong stood, the senior counsel said. Li Gang , deputy director of the central government's liaison office, declined to comment on the possible successor to Miss Leung. 'In my opinion, the secretary for justice must be familiar with the laws and love his country, love Hong Kong, so that he can do his job well,' he said. 'This person must implement the concept of 'one country, two systems' and contribute to the prosperity, stability and harmony of Hong Kong. Whoever takes the office of secretary for justice, he must take the responsibility to enforce co-operation between Hong Kong and the mainland.' Tsang Hin-chi, a Hong Kong member of the NPC Standing Committee, said changes within the government were common. 'Miss Leung has been in the post for eight years and has been doing a wonderful job. It is very normal that someone is leaving and someone new will be picked.' The Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, former director of the Christian Concern for the Homeless Association, said Mr Wong was a devout Christian who spent six years looking after the underprivileged.