Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying yesterday announced he would replace two ministers in an unexpected and widely questioned cabinet reshuffle that the Post has learned was because both Leung and Beijing were unhappy with their performance. In separate statements, Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing, 66, said he was "glad to retire", while Secretary for the Civil Service Paul Tang Kwok-wai cited "unforeseeable family circumstances" for his departure. I guess he [Tsang Tak-sing] should be relieved to step down LEGCO PRESIDENT JASPER TSANG, ON HIS BROTHER’S UNEXPECTED RETIREMENT A source familiar with the shake-up said Beijing officials blamed Tsang for his "inadequate" work among Hong Kong's youth that helped fuel last year's Occupy protests. Tang was described as "too laid back" as head of the government workforce to ensure a harmonious relationship between the administration and civil servants' unions. The chief executive fuelled speculation by refusing to clarify whether the two ministers were fired or had resigned. The outgoing home minister's elder brother, Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, said he was shocked by the news. "I guess he should be relieved to step down from the job," said the Legislative Council president, who has been unusually critical of the Leung administration in recent days. Leung executed his biggest cabinet reshuffle just a week after his specially arranged meeting in Beijing with central government officials, including National People's Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang , who has the final say on the appointment of Hong Kong's ministers. In a move that has raised eyebrows, Tsang will be replaced by undersecretary for constitutional and mainland affairs Lau Kong-wah, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong. Lau, 58, joined the government in 2012 after losing the Legco seat he held for 15 years. Commissioner of Customs and Excise Clement Cheung Wan-ching will replace Tang as civil service minister. The source familiar said the two ministers themselves were only informed on Monday. "Tsang is a nice person but he is not proactive enough on youth work," the source said. "Lau Kong-wah, being younger, is more suited to the job." Tsang yesterday refused to comment on whether his performance was "unsatisfactory," saying he would leave the public to judge. In a farewell message sent to his colleagues, Tang also described the timing of his departure as "unexpected". The pan-democrats were quick to criticise the chief executive and question his choices, especially Lau. Labour Party stalwart Lee Cheuk-yan condemned Lau's appointment as "shameful", complaining that the new minister "did not even pretend to be neutral" and might favour his political allies in the coming district elections. When asked why Florence Hui Hiu-fai was not the natural successor, having worked as undersecretary for home affairs for seven years, Leung said the government had picked the best person for the position. "[Lau] is well experienced at district work … there's no conflict of interest at all," he insisted. Former civil service minister Joseph Wong Wing-ping said the "sudden" changes, unilaterally announced by the chief executive without the two outgoing ministers explaining themselves in person, would cause many doubts. Lau was not popular among the people and Cheung was not among the most experienced civil servants, he noted. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor expressed "regret" at the departure of two colleagues but denied feeling frustrated or that the government was in a shaky position.