The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, today (November 14) expressed deep sorrow over the passing of Dr Chung Sze-yuen.
"Dr Chung had served the community for many years. With distinguished achievements in areas including politics, education, medical care and engineering, he earned deep respect from members of the public.
"Dr Chung was very influential in the political arena. He had served as a member of the Legislative Council for 13 years and a member of the Executive Council for 16 years before Hong Kong's return to the motherland. In six of the years, he was even a member of both Councils. In the 1970s, he successfully lobbied the then Governor, Sir Murray MacLehose, to increase the number of non-official members of the Legislative Council, enhancing democracy in the Legislative Council.
"During the negotiations between China and the United Kingdom on Hong Kong's future in the 1980s, he conducted a number of visits to Beijing and London to reflect the views of Hong Kong people. He was the Convenor of the first Executive Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) from 1997 to 1999, contributing to Hong Kong's smooth transition during the crucial moment.
"Dr Chung had also served in numerous public duties, many of which were tasked with arduous pioneering missions. He took charge of the establishment of three higher education institutions, namely the Hong Kong Polytechnic (presently the Hong Kong Polytechnic University), the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong (presently the City University of Hong Kong) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He spared no effort in playing a key role in promoting the development of Hong Kong's higher education, laying a solid foundation for the development. He was also the first Chairman of the Hospital Authority and made significant contributions to the reform of Hong Kong's public healthcare services.
"In addition to his active role in the political sector, Dr Chung was also an outstanding engineer. He graduated with first class honours from the University of Hong Kong and later received a doctoral degree in engineering in the United Kingdom. He was the President of the then Engineering Society of Hong Kong, which later became the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, in the 1960s and led the Society in its path to become a statutory body. Dr Chung won countless awards in engineering and is still highly respected by the engineering sector. He significantly reduced the cost of producing torches with new technology and made his company the world's largest torch manufacturer at that time.
"I had the privilege to have worked with Dr Chung in the Budget Expert Group under the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group dealing with the transitional Budget and related matters before Hong Kong's return to the motherland and was impressed by his objective and fair analysis, political tolerance and care and guidance for the younger generations.
"I was invited to Dr Chung's birthday banquets in recent years to share the love and respect for him by his family members and best friends. On November 3 this year, with the agreement of Dr Chung, I hosted a lunch at Government House in celebration of his 101st birthday and we had a joyful party with his family members and best friends.
"The spirit of Dr Chung's selfless sacrifice for Hong Kong will always be in our hearts. On behalf of the HKSAR Government and in my personal capacity, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to his family," Mrs Lam said.
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