Will focus on job, no comparison with Law: HKSTP incoming chief

June 25, 2018 15:23
HKSTP’s incoming chairman Sunny Chai, who is the managing director of Fook Tin Group and also the founder of a startup tech firm, says he will recuse himself from any matter that brings up questions of potential conflict of interest. Photo: RTHK

Sunny Chai Ngai-chiu, who is set to take over as the chair of the board of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp (HKSTP) on July 1, said all the bosses of the city's key technology facility had made their own contributions to the organization over the years, and that he sees no particular need to compare himself to the outgoing chairperson Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun.

In a TV interview on Sunday, Chai -- who is a nephew of tycoon Li Ka-shing -- revealed that he received a call from Commissioner for Innovation and Technology Annie Choi Suk-han one to two weeks ago asking him to be the next HKSTP chairman and that he accepted the offer immediately without hesitation.

He said he would dedicate his private time to the park’s affairs in the future, noting that the chairman's post comes with greater responsibility when compared to being just a board member.

Calling the chairmanship an important position, Chai said any new appointee will definitely feel pressure regardless of who the predecessor might be, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

That said, Chai stressed he has no intention to compare himself to the outgoing chairperson Law, adding that all the people who helmed the HKSTP board have made their unique contributions.

As a founder a tech company that is currently one of the park’s tenants, Chai claimed that he knows very well how to avoid conflict of interest.

He pointed out that he has worked with the Innovation and Technology Commission in an advisory role for more than 12 years and that he is very familiar with the existing system of declaration of interests.

If there is any issue of conflict of interest, he will recuse himself from dealing with the matter, he added.

Chai is currently a board member of the Science Park, as well as group managing director of Fook Tin Group Holdings and also a founder of a tech company.

As his family business makes weighing products, he has been often referred to as the "king of scales".

Chai was appointed by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on June 14 to succeed Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun as chair of the HKSTP.

There had been speculation in the media that Law had been forced out of her job by Lam, and that her departure was not entirely her decision.

Law told a radio program on Saturday that she is satisfied with what she had done for HKSTP during the past four years as board chairperson.

Saying that she has nothing to regret because she had played a role in the government’s course of pushing for scientific innovation, Law admitted that some people might have labeled her as a person of too many opinions.

She insisted that whatever she said at any time on any issue was based on factual considerations, and that she always stated the facts bluntly without bothering about the individuals concerned.

There were rumors that Law was replaced because she could not see eye to eye with Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung on some policy issues.

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