Hong Kong government finally sets up office for chief executive-elect after controversy over cost

The office, whose original cost was HK$40 million, will be led by former postmaster general Jessie Ting Yip Yin-mei

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 March, 2017, 2:05pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 March, 2017, 10:31pm

The Hong Kong government has finally established the Office of the Chief Executive-elect after its controversial decision to site the temporary office in Hong Kong’s most expensive business area.

It will be led by former postmaster general Jessie Ting Yip Yin-mei, who Internet users said looked similar to chief executive candidate Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

The office will provide support to the chief executive-elect in tasks including drawing up a policy plan for the new administration based on his or her election platform, and to make other arrangements with the incumbent government to ensure a smooth transition.

Lawmakers slam Hong Kong government over HK$40 million temporary office for chief executive-elect

“Mrs Ting is a seasoned administrative officer with a rich experience in public administration. I believe that she will serve with professionalism in her new capacity to ensure a smooth transition [for the current and incoming administration],” Secretary for Civil Service Clement Cheung Wan-ching said in a statement.

The office, which takes up a whole floor in Champion Tower on Garden Road, Central, was originally estimated to cost HK$40 million in taxpayers’ money for just three months until the end of June.

After lawmakers slammed the plan, the cost was revised to HK$35 million – HK$12.3 million to fit out the space and for reinstatement works, and HK$23 million for operating expenses.

The office will have five people filling up posts at the directorate level, and more than 20 holding positions at non-directorate levels.

Before becoming postmaster general in 2011, Ting held other senior positions including deputy secretary for security and deputy secretary for developments (works).

But it is her resemblance to chief executive front runner Lam that caught the attention of online users.

“Is this a hint (of who will win the election)?” one user wrote on the popular HKGolden.com forum.

Another wrote that she was “Lam 2.0”.