POLITICS

Ronald Chan, 33, made Hong Kong’s youngest undersecretary after early career boost from Regina Ip

Ronald Chan becomes youngest junior official since 1997 - and bags an 86 per cent pay rise

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 September, 2015, 4:36pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 September, 2015, 4:25am

A 33-year-old ex-protégé of former security minister Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee will become the government's youngest undersecretary since the handover, taking office as deputy to the constitutional affairs secretary next week.

The promotion comes with an 86 per cent pay rise for former Southern district councillor Ronald Chan Ngok-pang.

Chan is to get HK$193,775 per month as undersecretary for constitutional and mainland affairs, up from the HK$104,340 he now earns as political assistant at the same bureau, led by Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen.

Chan's erstwhile boss Ip sent her congratulations, but declined to comment on whether he was suitable for the job. Labour Party lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan said he was not experienced enough.

Last night, Chan pledged to do his job "humbly".

"I have served in different posts in the government, [including] three years at this bureau, and have good communication with different parties," he said.

"I will listen to the opinions of different sectors, parties and lawmakers humbly and carefully."

Chan graduated from Stanford University with a master's degree in political and comparative sociology. He became a protégé of his classmate Ip and was elected to the Southern district council in 2007.

Chan joined the civil service in 2010, as special assistant at the office of then chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen.

He was appointed political assistant to Tam two months after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying took office in July 2012.

Tam revealed he was the one who invited Chan to join the government in 2010 and recommended his latest promotion to replace Lau Kong-wah, who was appointed secretary for home affairs in July.

Chan is the youngest undersecretary since Tsang created the posts at the various bureaus in 2008. He is also the first political assistant to be promoted undersecretary.