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Obituaries

Memorial service for former Hong Kong politician Florence Hui to be held next Sunday

  • Close friend outlines undersecretary for home affairs’ battle with breast cancer
  • Hui reportedly hoped to do ‘meaningful things’ with the time she had left
PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 December, 2018, 7:22pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 December, 2018, 7:22pm

A memorial service for Hong Kong’s former undersecretary for home affairs Florence Hui Hiu-fai, who died on Monday aged 44, will be held on December 16.

Sun Leung, Hui’s close friend and vice-president of the Hong Kong Confucian Society, wrote in a Facebook post that the politician had suffered from pulmonary oedema, a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs.

“Hui was aware of her illness for some time, but refused to receive treatment,” Leung wrote. “She said ‘I know I would not live a long life, but I hope to do some meaningful things as far as possible’.

“She had 1.5 litre fluid extracted from her lungs after being admitted to hospital and passed away two days later.”

Hui is believed to have been suffering from breast cancer and died through complications from the disease. Her husband, Zhai Pu, shared Leung’s post with Hui’s friends.

According to the obituary notice, Hui’s family said her funeral would be a private event. Her memorial service will be held at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on December 16.

Her family said the condolence money collected during the service would be given to the Compassion Award run by the Hong Kong and Macau Taiwanese Charity Fund, which was founded in 2004.

Her family also set up a website to pay homage to her.

Tsang Tak-sing, the former secretary for home affairs who hired Hui in 2008, wrote on the website that she had not initially been top of the list to fill the position, he had been very impressed by her in her interview.

“I didn’t consider any other candidates after I talked with her,” Tsang said.

Former Hong Kong undersecretary for home affairs Florence Hui Hiu-fai dies at 44

A graduate of Chinese University, Hui was made undersecretary in 2008, and reappointed in 2012. She left the government last year after nine years.

Before her public service, she was head of business planning and development for northeast Asia at Standard Chartered Bank.

In 2012, Hui was tipped to become the minister for a new culture bureau proposed by then incoming Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying.

Leung had promised in his election manifesto to set up the bureau to promote the development of arts and culture. But his plan failed after filibustering by pan-democrat lawmakers.

In March this year, Hui joined the board for the Hong Kong Palace Museum.

On Monday, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor extended her “deepest condolences” to Hui’s family, and said she was “deeply saddened by her passing away at such a young age”.

Hui is survived by her husband and two daughters.