Stephen Sui Wai-keung, a 36-year veteran of the civil service, was named yesterday as the new undersecretary for labour and welfare, a post that has been vacant since Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying took office two years ago. The former commissioner for rehabilitation joins the bureau at a time when it faces the difficult tasks of handling a proposal for standard working hours and reviewing the minimum wage. He will take up the job on August 15. "Sui is the best candidate I have found for the post," said Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung as he announced the appointment yesterday. He highlighted Sui's experience in key government positions and connections with the welfare sector. But Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan said the new undersecretary lacked experience in social welfare and he doubted Sui's ability to handle current labour issues. Sui, who holds a master's degree in public administration from the University of Hong Kong, has held senior positions in several government departments, including the Land Registry and the Civil Service Bureau, since joining the government as an executive officer in 1978. Acknowledging the challenges, Cheung described the proposed legislation on standard working hours as a "very contentious and complex". The Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions' call for a standard working week of 44 hours and time-and-a-half for overtime has met fierce opposition from employers.