Former undersecretary for home affairs Florence Hui Hiu-fai has died at the age of 44. She reportedly had been suffering from breast cancer.
She is survived by her husband and two daughters, aged 12 and nine.
In a statement on Monday night, Hui’s family confirmed she died in the morning peacefully, and thanked those who offered condolences, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Her affability, readiness to help others, kind smile and manner of speech will always be remembered, the statement said, with her younger brother revealing that the date of a memorial ceremony for her will be announced after the funeral is completed.
It is understood that Hui had become much thinner than before in the past six months. She never revealed what her illness was but only told media in August that her loss of weight was because she engaged in fewer entertainment events and kept regular hours of rest.
After learning of Hui’s death, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor extended her deepest condolences to the former official’s family, saying in a statement that Hui had been dedicated to serving the Hong Kong community for years and earned the respect of those who had worked with her both inside or outside the government.
Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah also expressed sorrow over her passing, and praised Hui for her immense contribution during her service in the bureau.
Educated at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Cambridge, Hui was head of the business planning and development for North Asia at Standard Chartered before joining the government in 2008 as undersecretary for home affairs. She was among the first batch of undersecretaries in the government.
In 2012, it was reported that Hui was being tipped to become Hong Kong’s first culture minister but the plan for a cultural bureau never materialized because of filibustering. She was awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong government that year.
After leaving the position on June 30 last year, Hui was appointed board member of the Hong Kong Palace Museum Limited in March this year.
Executive Council convener Bernard Charnwut Chan, who also chairs the board of the Hong Kong Palace Museum Limited, said Hui’s death was very unexpected and a big loss to society because she was considered one of the few people who could really maintain good relationships with various stakeholders from different sectors.
Executive Council member and New People’s Party chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee described Hui as a person with excellent reputation and deep knowledge of culture.
Starry Lee Wai-king, chairwoman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, remembered Hui for her dedication to work, willingness to listen meticulously and seriousness to respond.
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