Arthur Li Kwok-cheung has been appointed chairman of the government’s Council for Sustainable Development from March 1, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.
Li will replace fellow Executive Council member Bernard Charnwut Chan.
Chan is stepping down from the Council for Sustainable Development after six years of service, as are Cheung Kong (Holdings) vice-chairman Victor Li Tzar-kuoi and Chinese University of Hong Kong Vice-Chancellor Professor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu.
Including the chairman, 10 unofficial members of the advisory body will be replaced.
At least five of the 13 new appointees are believed to be supporters of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, taking the size of the unit to 21 members from 18.
Commission on Youth chairman Bunny Chan Chung-bun is among the newly appointed council members, as are Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong district councilor Lau Kwok-fan and Kwun Tong district councilor Tang Wing-chun, both of whom helped Leung in his election campaign in 2012.
Some environmental groups said the government’s decision to remove several scholars from the advisory body and adding more representatives from the commercial sector will hinder it from relaying the opinions of the public to the government in the future.
Li did not respond to media enquiries about how he will lead the new council members, who will serve a two-year term from March 1.
In December, the council proposed that a garbage fee be levied across Hong Kong.
Friends of the Earth senior environmental affairs officer Melonie Chau Yuet-cheung said Chan is known for his high level of transparency and willingness to listen to opinions from the public.
Chau said she hopes Li, who was nicknamed “The Czar” when he was secretary for education, will continue to serve as a bridge between the public and the government.
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