Fitting final farewell for Lee

Top government officials and political heavyweights yesterday paid their final tributes to former security minister Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong who passed away last month at the age of 73.

The funeral ceremony and procession was held at the Universal Funeral Parlor in Hung Hom yesterday. Lee's only son Glen Lee Lam-yan stepped out of the mourning hall holding a portrait of his father.

The funeral procession later wound its way to the Diamond Hill Crematorium.

Among those at the funeral were Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu, his predecessors Leung Chun-ying and Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, police commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee and former Democratic Party lawmaker Fred Li Wah-ming

Lee's eight pallbearers were the Chief Secretary Eric Chan Kwok-ki; Executive Council convener Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee; Deputy Financial Secretary Michael Wong Wai-lun; the director-general of the police liaison department at the central government liaison office, Chen Feng; Secretary for Security Chris Tang Ping-keung; Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang Kwok-wai; former finance minister Frederick Ma Si-hang; and property tycoon Bill Wong Cho-bau.

Lee, who served as a Hong Kong delegate to the National People's Congress from 2013 to 2018 after retiring in June 2012 as secretary for security, passed away in his sleep at his Sha Tin home on August 14.

A banner saying "Rest in Peace" was fashioned across the front of the funeral hall, above wreaths and a photograph of Lee's family displayed on a screen.

The hall itself was flanked by wreaths from local and mainland officials, including Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung Ho Poi-yan and Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Sun Dong.

Lee joined the Immigration Department in 1974 and was appointed director of immigration in 1998.

In 2002, he was named commissioner of the ICAC by then-chief executive Tung Chee-hwa and became secretary for security in August 2003. He succeeded Regina Ip, who was forced to resign after massive public protests over the article 23 legislation bill, which she proposed and the administration was forced to withdraw.

Lee went on to become the longest serving security chief - for nine years until June 30, 2012 - during Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's term as chief executive.

Lee served in the Hong Kong government for 38 years, earning a Golden Bauhinia Award in 2009. He is survived by his wife, two children, including TVB artiste Glen and four grandchildren.