Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung. All three were awarded the city’s top honour the Grand Bauhinia medal. Photo: Sam Tsang

Who’s who of Hong Kong’s top officials awarded Grand Bauhinia prize on Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s final day

Chief secretary, financial secretary and justice secretary were among the seven top political allies of the chief executive to win

Twelve staunch supporters of outgoing Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying have been awarded Hong Kong’s top civic honour on the last day of his five-year tenure.

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung were among the seven top political allies of Leung to be granted the Grand Bauhinia Medal, according to this year’s honours list gazetted on Friday.

Cheung is chair of the honours committee, but took no part in the decision of his own award, according to the government’s Protocol Division.

Executive Council member Arthur Li Kwok-cheung. Photo: Sam Tsang
Other recipients of the top honour included Executive Council members Laura Cha Shih May-lung, Professor Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, and Ip Kwok-him of Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), and Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, head of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks.
Executive Council member Laura Cha Shih May-lung. Photo: Dickson Lee

Known Leung supporters from the business sector, including Hang Lung Properties’ chairman Ronnie Chan Chichung, New World Development’s chairman Henry Cheng Kar-shun, Shui On Group’s chairman Vincent Lo Hong-sui, Airport Authority chairman Jack So Chak-kwong and Stephen Tai Tak-fung, founder of Four Seas Group, also received the award.

Jack So Chak-kwong, chairman of Hong Kong’s Airport Authority. Photo: May Tse
“I have the good fortune to be associated with Hong Kong Trade Development Council, MTR, PCCW and now the Airport Authority all closely linked to Hong Kong’s economic development,” Airport Authority chairman Jack So said he was deeply honoured by the award. “The honour really belongs to my colleagues.”

“I am deeply honored to receive this recognition. I will continue to contribute in whatever way I can for the betterment and long-term development of Hong Kong,” Ronnie Chan said.

Hong Kong’s health chief Ko Wing-man. Photo: Dickson Lee
No member from the pro-democracy camp was included in this year’s honours list. The seven top recipients in last year’s awards included individuals from a wide range of political, business and community sectors.
Meanwhile, other outgoing aides of Leung were also among the 25 recipients of the Gold Bauhinia Star – the city’s second-highest honour. They included education chief Eddie Ng Hak-kim, medical chief Ko Wing-man, labour and welfare chief Stephen Sui Wai-keung and central policy unit head Shiu Sin-por.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying at the funeral service of fireman Yau Siu-ming. Photo: Nora Tam
Firefighter Yau Siu-ming, 50, who died while trying to rescue two hikers stranded on a treacherous part of Ma On Shan Country Park in March was awarded a posthumous gold medal for bravery in this year’s batch.

Modelled on the British system, the Hong Kong awards are designed to recognise people who have done good work for the community. However, it has repeatedly been criticised for distributing prizes to allies of the government.