A day at government headquarters in Tamar starts with Hong Kong's Chief Executive and his cabinet engaged in the 'morning prayer' - a quick discussion of the major points of the day's agenda. It's a long tradition, inherited from British rule. Not far away, in the old government house where the Office of the Chief Executive-elect is located, the day may start with the city's next leader, Leung Chun-ying, thinking of who will be at his 'morning prayer' session when he moves into Tamar on July 1. The guessing game started as soon as he was elected. Leung has been tight-lipped, saying he would not bring up the issue on his trip to Beijing, and adding only that he would invite those who 'share the same vision with me'. At this stage, his top priority is his three top aides, the chief secretary, the financial secretary and the secretary of justice. The chief secretary is the most senior official. According to the official description of the duties of the chief secretary, he or she 'plays a key role in policy formulation and implementation ... covers specific priority areas for the CE's policy agenda, and is responsible for forging a closer and more effective working relationship with the Legislative Council.' One job for the future chief secretary (CS) is legislation for the introduction in 2017 of universal suffrage. But the job can include almost anything. When Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was the CS under Tung Chee-hwa, he headed Team Clean after the Sars outbreak in 2003. But the CS is still the city's number two job. Unfortunately, the current CS, Stephen Lam Sui-lung, though smart and loyal, has failed to boost his popularity, because of the difficult jobs assigned to him, such as constitutional reform. Many believe that Leung is unlikely to keep him, instead inviting Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the current Secretary of Development, who is highly regarded by the public. Another possible candidate is lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, former Secretary of Security, who is well-known for her tough style in promoting the national security law back in 2003. Leung's campaign director, Barry Cheung Chun-yuen, hinted over the weekend: 'I would be disappointed if Mrs Lam would not stay behind [with Leung]'. Lam may stay, but the question is, will she be the future CS or will she be given an equally, or even more important, position - that of financial secretary? The financial secretary (FS) is a more 'powerful' post, in that the CE and the FS need to be partners in policy. Tsang and his FS, John Tsang Chun-wah, have been dubbed 'true brothers'. The FS's role is more specific in its official description, which is 'to assist the CE in overseeing policy formulation and implementation in financial, monetary, economic, trade, and employment matters ... Exercises control over the Exchange Fund ... is also in charge of the government budget.' No wonder in Hong Kong people address the FS as 'Grandpa of Fortune'. Hongkongers are practical enough to know that whoever has the money has the say. A retired senior official told the South China Morning Post: 'To maintain efficient governance, the CE and the FS should be truly of one mind and share the same vision,' suggesting that Lam, who has the full trust of Leung, could be a better candidate as FS than CS. The third top aide Leung has to ponder is the Secretary of Justice. Called the attorney general during colonial times, the Secretary of Justice (SJ) is the principal legal adviser to the CE and all government bodies. The first post-1997 SJ was Elsie Leung Oi-sie, a Beijing loyalist and a well-respected Basic Law expert. The incumbent SJ, Wong Yan Lung, has little political experience but is well-regarded. However, despite the wishes of many, Wong is determined to leave after this term. Leung's pick will be a real test for him and Beijing. Possible names include a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress, Martin Liao Cheung-kong, a well-known barrister. The 47-year-old Jat Sew-tong is another tip. Jat, a prominent barrister, heads a number of public organisations, such as the Independent Police Complains Council. Alan Hoo, chairman of the Basic Law Institute, and active in attempts to stop the influx of mainland pregnant women, is seen as a 'dark horse'. The Chinese saying 'See the light and die', meaning something revealed prematurely will fail, may explain the silence of Leung so far. Meanwhile, after the scandal-plagued election campaign, the political wags say that whoever wants to join the government must be 'whiter than white', not only themselves, but for three generations! This sounds daunting, but it is good test to see how politically savvy Hong Kong's future leadership will be. It is only natural that Leung's line-up will not be revealed until very close to his starting day at Tamar. After all, Beijing, who is to appoint all officials, needs time to discuss the candidates with Leung. Some give and take is expected on both sides.