Hong Kong government announces replacement for head of RTHK

  • Director of Broadcasting Leung Ka-wing will be replaced by Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Li, who has no broadcasting experience
  • The government has previously criticised RTHK and called its performance ‘unacceptable’
Kelly Fung |

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Leung Ka-wing, RTHK director of broadcasting, is set to step down months ahead of schedule. Photo: SCMP/ Dickson Lee

Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Li will replace Leung Ka-wing as the Director of Broadcasting for RTHK, Hong Kong’s public broadcaster, beginning March 1, the government announced on Friday.

Leung, a veteran journalist, was due to have his contract expire in August of this year, but Li will take over six months early. The decision to step down before the contract expired was mutually agreed upon between Leung and the government, according to a government statement. It did not thank Leung for his service.

The statement said the government had conducted an open recruitment and tried to find someone with broadcasting experience for the role, but failed to identify any suitable candidates. It also stated it intended to train existing RTHK employees so they could move on to senior roles.

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Li, who joined the administrative service in 1990 and later served for many different bureaus and departments, has no prior experience in broadcasting.

But Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip insisted that Li is the “best person for the job” due to his leadership and management skills.

“As Director of Broadcasting, Mr Li will ensure that RTHK fully abides by the Charter of RTHK,” said Nip.

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Leung, 68, expressed gratitude to his staff as he ended five and a half years of service. He has not spoken about his next intended career move.

Earlier this month, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor slammed RTHK’s performance as “unacceptable”, and called for reforms to “set things right”.

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