After 18 years Hong Kong customs to be helmed by insider

on 2017-06-21 05:48:13

Deputy commissioner Hermes Tang Yi-hoi

Based on the nomination and recommendation of Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the central government has approved the appointment of current Customs and Excise Department deputy commissioner Hermes Tang Yi-hoi, 53, as the new chief. His boss, Roy Tang Yun-kwong, who is an administrative officer (AO), will move back to the bureaucracy.

Work unions welcomed the appointment, having fought for an internal promotion to the top job for years. Association of Customs and Excise Service Officers chairwoman Bonnie Lo Hoi-sze spoke highly of her new boss, describing Hermes Tang as the right candidate given his all-round experience.

“Tang had served in different positions including some frontline postings and in investigations. He understands the problems in customs,” Lo said. “He is also open to his fellows’ views. I am sure he will bring the department to another level.”

I think we did a good job building it, right - a very good job.”

When customs chief Lee Shu-fai retired in 1999 after 35 years of service, then chief executive Tung Chee-hwa appointed John Tsang Chun-wah, who was director-general of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London at the time, to lead the agency.

Tsang’s five successors were also from the administrative office. They were: Raymond Wong Hung-chiu (2001–2003), Timothy Tong Hin-ming (2003–2007), Richard Yuen Ming-fai (2007–2011), Clement Cheung Wan-ching (2011–2015) and Roy Tang (2015–2017).

Staff morale was affected, with work unions claiming that the career bureaucrats, who had no experience in the customs department, were using the position merely as a stepping stone.

“We feel bad as our colleagues are capable of heading the agency,” Lo said.

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