22 February 2019
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong (left) says his political background and that of undersecretary Caspar Tsui (right) are complementary. Photo: TVB
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong (left) says his political background and that of undersecretary Caspar Tsui (right) are complementary. Photo: TVB

New welfare undersecretary fails media quiz on minimum wage

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said the difference in political backgrounds between himself and his newly appointed undersecretary, Caspar Tsui, is an advantage rather than a hindrance, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Tsui was among several undersecretaries who commenced work in their new government posts on Wednesday.

Law said his Democratic Party background and Tsui’s affiliation with the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) are advantageous, adding a more diverse political spectrum can help formulate better policies.

Tsui said he would take a more neutral position other than his normal conservative political views with different stakeholders.

Tsui was previously a political assistant in the Home Affairs Bureau and is considered a newcomer to the labor and welfare sector.

When asked to cite the minimum wage and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) by the media, Tsui was unable to come up with an answer.

He said he has a full term ahead of him to prove his abilities to Hong Kong people.

Law came to Tsui’s rescue, saying even he himself could not answer the CSSA question in detail without proper research.

Former legislator Lee Cheuk-yan criticised Tsui, who will be making HK$217,000 a month in his new position, for not knowing the basic information of his line of work, Apple Daily reports.

Lee also said that it is not common for a person like Tsui who has no experience in public administration to have reached the position of undersecretary, especially when “he has no relevant achievements under his belt”.

Commerce and Economic Development undersecretary Chan Pak-li, who has renounced his US citizenship after previously becoming a political assistant, also comes from a DAB background.

Responding to doubts on his ability to convince legislative members to support government policies, Chan said he has accumulated a lot of experience in the past four-and-a-half years and will work hard to make a balanced and all-rounded approach to lobby legislators.

Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Secretary Nip Tak-kuen told the media that he had known his undersecretary, Chan Sui-fu, for years and that he already has a candidate for political assistant.

Chan said that he has some experience in the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau and has been to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area for travel. He has also been involved in dealing with mainland government entities on food safety and immigration issues.

Development Bureau undersecretary Liu Chun-san had been department project manager of the Civil Engineering and Development Department.

He said he expects obstacles ahead and hopes that he can help develop brownfield areas in the New Territories West.

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