Record high Hong Kong senior officials quit after loyalty pledge enforcement

Published (HKT): 2021.04.22 14:19

An unprecedented number of administrative officers have resigned since the Hong Kong government required civil servants to pledge an oath of allegiance since January.

Seven administrative officers quit from January to March, marking a quarterly record, according to the figures from the Civil Service Bureau. A total of 21 administrative officers resigned in the last financial year, among which eight were directors, both figures are more than double those of last year, setting a historical record.

Seven left as soon as the government obliged employees to sign a declaration by January, pledging allegiance to the Hong Kong government and vowing to uphold the Basic Law, even though the grade promises great career prospects and hefty compensation.

129 civil servants, who have neglected or refused to sign and return the declaration, have been suspended from their duties and most are facing possible dismissal, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip told a Legislative Council public service panel meeting on Monday.

53 administrative officers left during the last four years of Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s term, 33% more than the 40 who resigned during that of her predecessor Leung Chun-ying.

Regina Ip, a pro-Beijing heavyweight, who was once an administrative officer, said administrative officers would rather work at other public organizations to avoid handling hot potatoes at the government.

Many of her former coworkers chose to work for other institutions, such as chambers of commerce, the MTR Corporation, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Airport Authority Hong Kong. “Public organizations offer higher pay and are more attractive,” Ip added.

Emily Lau, former lawmaker of the Democratic Party, said government employees do not want to take up political tasks and are disappointed at the collapse of order at the government. “Some could not even explain the policies to themselves, how would you expect them to explain to the public?” Lau asked.

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