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Carrie Lam

Fourth DAB member joins Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam’s team

Appointment of Kathy Siu Ka-yi means Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong will have more members than any other party at decision-making level in the administration

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 August, 2017, 9:25pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 August, 2017, 10:35pm

Four members of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong will sit at the top of the government after the elevation of a rising party star.

Kathy Siu Ka-yi, 34, a Central and Western district councillor for six years, has been appointed the political assistant to Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, the city’s No 2 official.

The three other party members occupying top slots are Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah, Undersecretary for Commerce and Economic Development Bernard Chan Pak-li, and Undersecretary for Labour and Welfare Caspar Tsui Ying-wai.

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With Siu’s appointment, the DAB will have more members than any other party at decision-making level in the administration of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

Two other political appointments were announced on Tuesday: Jack Chan Jick-chi as undersecretary for home affairs and Jeff Sze Chun-fai as political assistant to education minister Kevin Yeung Yun-hung.

Chan, 56, joined the government in 1983 and rose to become deputy director of home affairs in 2011.

Sze, 31, served as political assistant to the education chief in the last term of government. He is a member of the pro-establishment New People’s Party.

Chan and Sze assume office on Wednesday, while Siu begins work on September 1.

Political scientist Dr Chung Kim-wah of Polytechnic University said: “The new appointments seem to reinforce the impression that Carrie Lam needs to reward the pro-Beijing parties which had supported her during the chief executive election.”

The first batch of 10 undersecretaries and eight political assistants was announced on August 1, with much controversy surrounding the appointment of pro-Beijing educator Christine Choi Yuk-lin as undersecretary for education.

Lam has now appointed 11 undersecretaries and 10 political assistants. The posts of undersecretary for transport and housing, and political assistants to four other secretaries remained unfilled. Lam’s office said it would make an announcement “separately”, without giving a date.

There were reports earlier that veteran journalists Ng King-chun of TVB and So King-hang of RTHK would join the government as political assistants to the secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs and the secretary for food and health respectively.