Young Hong Kong blood among new CPPCC appointees

Retiring veterans make way for younger local delegates to nation's top consultative body

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 February, 2013, 4:41am

The latest appointments to the nation's top consultative body mark the rise of a younger generation of advisers to Beijing.

A number of prominent veterans have retired, clearing the way for their children or fellow party colleagues to join as new members of the body.

The list of new appointees to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) was revealed yesterday after a four-day meeting of its standing committee in Beijing.

Among over 2,200 CPPCC members, Hong Kong delegates filled more than 200 of the seats, roughly the same proportion as served in the five-year term that is expiring.

Prominent new delegates include Thomas Pang Cheung-wai, secretary-general of the Beijing-friendly Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong; the president of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association, Irons Sze Wing-wai; and Lau Yip-keung, son of the chairman of the Heung Yee Kuk rural affairs body, Lau Wong-fat.

Their appointments coincided with the departures of Lau and DAB veteran Jasper Tsang Yok-sing; both served as Beijing advisers for about two decades.

The new delegates will begin their five-year terms in March.

Pang, a member of Shenzhen's CPPCC, said he hoped his new post would help him reflect Hongkongers' opinions to state leaders.

"I have been expressing my views [to municipal authorities] about issues that concern Hong Kong people, for example, our personal safety in Shenzhen," Pang said. "So [as the country's adviser], I will express my views on matters that I could help at the state level."

The announcement also confirmed that Henry Tang Ying-yen - Leung Chun-ying's rival in last year's chief executive race - would join as a delegate to the CPPCC, along with a number of high-profile business and community leaders who refused to support Leung in the chief executive race.

They include Hospital Authority chairman Anthony Wu Ting-yuk and Peter Lee Ka-kit, son of Henderson Land Development chairman Lee Shau-kee. Both Wu and Lee backed Tang in the nomination process at the start of the chief executive campaign last March.

However, Leung's supporters managed to maintain their influence, with the appointment of Leonie Ki Man-fung, an executive director of New World Development who served on Leung's campaign. Another Leung supporter, Vincent Lo Hong-sui, chairman of Shui On Land, was reappointed.

Former police commissioner Tang King-shing and Timothy Tong Hin-ming, former commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, were also appointed.

Earlier this week, a number of pan-democrats voiced their worries about their appointment, saying it could affect the neutral public image of the police and the ICAC.