Incoming Hong Kong leader relies on incumbent officials to fill ranks of team

Among 21 principal officials tipped to be recruited by Lee, only six not from current administration.

Hong Kong’s incoming leader John Lee Ka-chiu is one step closer to finalising his cabinet line-up, opting for continuity by retaining at least nine incumbent officials while bringing on board six senior civil servants as he prepares to reform the government workforce to better deliver results, the Post has learned.

In a surprising twist, civil service chief Patrick Nip Tak-kuen, a trusted aide of outgoing leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and who was expected to stay on in the new administration, would step down, a source said.

Nip, who had expressed an interest in continuing to serve in any capacity, was only informed recently of Lee’s decision and had started to bid farewell to his colleagues, the insider added.