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Hong Kong youth

Outgoing head of Hong Kong youth policy advisory body tipped to be deputy of new and similar high-level group

Lau Ming-wai will be part of the Youth Development Commission, to be launched soon and chaired by the city’s No 2 official

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 February, 2018, 5:05pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 February, 2018, 5:07pm

The outgoing chief of Hong Kong’s soon-to-be defunct Commission on Youth is tipped to stay on as the deputy of a new high-level body that will replace it, according to a government source.

Young tycoon Lau Ming-wai is expected to be appointed as the deputy chairman of the new Youth Development Commission, headed by Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, the city’s No 2 official.

Lau was hand-picked by Hong Kong’s former leader Leung Chun-ying to lead the old advisory group in the immediate aftermath of the 2014 Occupy movement.

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The Commission on Youth will close down on March 31. The government source said the Youth Development Commission would be formed as early as April 1 to allow a smooth transition.

It is expected to operate in a similar manner to its predecessor with Lau, the son of property billionaire Joseph Lau Luen-hung, as its deputy.

The seeds for the Youth Development Commission were planted when Lau took the idea of a high-level body overseeing youth policies to Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. He served as a key aide during her election campaign.

Lam earlier admitted that her administration’s biggest challenge was to “connect with young people”.

The current body comprises representatives from the bureaus of education, security, as well as labour and welfare.

In a previous interview with the Post, Lau said the calibre of applicants joining the new commission was higher than expected.

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Meanwhile, a new government think tank, the Policy Innovation and Coordination Office, a revamp of the existing Central Policy Unit, had finished hiring 20 to 30 “young members”, according to the source.

The office’s recruitment drive had raised eyebrows because of its handsome pay packages, with the senior officer post boasting a basic monthly salary of between HK$60,000 (US$7,670) and HK$95,000, while the pay for the post of an officer was between HK$30,000 and HK$48,000.

Cheung had said the government received 684 applicants last November.

The source said the selected candidates had already been informed.