Exco old-timers 'not a concern for youths'

The next Executive Council will have the highest average age among nonofficial members since the handover at 65.7, but members will still look out for the interests of the young, the newly appointed convener Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said.

The 71-year-old Ip said yesterday experience is more important than age.

"Take the United States for example. Look at how old their president is it is not bizarre as many veteran senators are in their eighties."

Ip went on to say that Exco members would "understand the thoughts of young people" and encourage them to speak their mind.

At 46, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong's Gary Chan Hak-kan will be the youngest Exco member, and he said: "I believe many of my future Exco colleagues will take the initiative to approach young people and speak on behalf of them."

Ip went on to say Exco will be made up of members who hail from a variety of professional backgrounds, including from medical, financial and legal sectors.

"In addition, half of the 16 nonofficial members are Legislative Council members - this will improve the relationship between the administration and the legislature."

She said the public should not worry about a conflict of interest between her roles as convener and New People's Party, noting the two don't overlap.

Ip also said that she hopes Exco members will make a concerted effort to step forward and explain government policies.

"There are members who are familiar with the government's operations many of the Legco members are used to communicating with the public. The most important thing is to let people fully understand."