Alfred Chan Cheung-ming, who has been serving as chairman of the Elderly Commission, has been appointed as the new head of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), it was announced Friday.
Chan will take over from York Chow Yat-ngok, EOC’s incumbent chairman, with effect from April 11, the government said in a statement.
His appointment is for a period of three years.
Following the announcement, The Pink Alliance, a group that fights for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, issued a statement saying that it looks forward to meeting with Chan and engage him in constructive talks on issues related to sexual minorities.
“We urge him to continue with the excellent track the EOC has been spearheading over the years especially on LGBT rights and to take proactive action to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity as shown in its own report by pushing for an anti-discrimination law,” Billy Leung, vice chair of the rights group, said in the statement.
He added that his group “would like to express its gratitude” to outgoing chairman Chow for his “tireless efforts” to work toward an inclusive and diverse community in Hong Kong.
Chow had been known to be a vocal advocate of protecting the rights of sexual minorities, having participated in some LGBT events.
Chan, who has been chairman of the Elderly Commission since 2011, has an “impressive professional and public service record in fields such as health, welfare, the elderly and ethnic minorities in both Hong Kong and the international arena”, the government said in its statement.
The appointment was made after an open recruitment exercise overseen by a human resources consultant, it said.
Chan is currently Chair Professor of Social Gerontology cum Director of Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies and Office of Service-Learning at Lingnan University.
“We are confident that under his leadership, the EOC will continue to actively promote equal opportunities and eliminate discrimination in the community,” a government spokesman said in the statement.
Chow, meanwhile, was thanked Chow for his services.
During his term, the EOC “continued to effectively implement the four anti-discrimination ordinances, facilitated the amendment of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance to expand the scope of protection against sexual harassment, and set up the Ethnic Minorities Unit”, the spokesman said.
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