Under Secretary for Security Sonny Au tipped to be next secretary-general of national security committee

Under Secretary for Security Sonny Au Chi-kwong is tipped to be the secretary-general to the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, sources say.

It was said that Au will replace Eric Chan Kwok-ki, director of the Chief Executive's Office, for the spot, as Chan has been appointed as the Chief Secretary for Administration in incoming Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu’s administration.

Au, 61, was aide-de-camp to Hong Kong’s first chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, and protected the city’s leader between 1998 and 2002.

In 1980, at the age of 18, he joined the police force as a constable. He was appointed an inspector in 1986.

Later, as chief superintendent of the department’s security wing, Au worked closely with Lee, the director of crime and security at the time. Au was named the director of crime and security in 2016.

It is understood that Au is Lee’s trusted aid, having been working as a deputy to Lee when Lee was the city’s security chief in 2017.

In March last year, Au was among three senior officials involved in a so-called hot pot scandal, with the three each fined HK$5,000 for breaching the four-person gathering ban in place by then.

However, a decision to forgive the trio for attending the dinner in violation of Covid rules, with the three only being condemned for having 'lacked sensitivity' has sparked outrage among Hong Kong citizens who were observing strict Covid curbs at that period.