Refusing to pledge allegiance, a wave of departures erupts among Hong Kong civil servants

The deadline for the Hong Kong government to force civil servants to swear allegiance to the Central Government and the SAR is approaching, and the Labour Department is also bursting at the seams with civil servants fleeing. The picture shows Carrie Lam leading a group of civil servants to take the oath. (Photo source: Hong Kong Government Information Services)

The Hong Kong government forced civil servants to swear allegiance to the Central Government and the SAR, the deadline is approaching, a number of government departments exploded a wave of civil servants resignation. Apple Daily quoted that according to the latest data from the Labour Department, 12 employees of the department have resigned from December last year to January this year, four of them belong to the Labour Affairs Officer grade; at least five more Labour Affairs Officers left in February, in addition to the former President of the new civil service union, Yan Wu Zhou, Chief Labour Affairs Officer Chen Ying Xian also resigned. Some of those who left said they were preparing to emigrate and did not want to be forced to sign a statement of allegiance.

Previously, in order to implement Xi Jinping‘s “patriots rule Hong Kong” policy, Hong Kong civil servants were asked to take an oath or sign a declaration of allegiance, and the latest batch of civil servants had to sign the declaration by the end of February. If they do not sign, and without a reasonable explanation, the authorities will terminate their employment. However, there are still many civil servants who would rather give up their iron rice bowls than allegiance, and have resigned from the civil service. After the Social Welfare Department, the Department of health, the Fire Services Department and the Housing Department, the Labour Department has also seen a wave of departures in recent months.

According to information from the Labor Department, a total of 24 employees left during December and January. According to past records, in the past three years, the number of people leaving the prescription due to resignation is 21 per year, the average monthly resignation of only one to two people.

It is reported that the Department of Labor “hedging policy section” of the Chief Labor Affairs Officer Chen Yingxian has also resigned, the reason for resignation is unknown, is expected to leave next month. The Chief Labour Officer is at the D1 level, with a monthly salary of up to HK$165,200 (about US$21,200). The Labour Department replied to media inquiries, did not deny the news, but said it would not comment on the appointment of individual civil servants.

The Labour Department said that if civil servants have submitted their resignation letters, generally speaking, the department will not require them to sign or swear allegiance; and the departure of Labour Department staff is an ordinary personnel turnover, the prescription will be held in due course to recruit work to fill the lost vacancies.

The director general of the CTU, Mr. Mung Siu-tat, said that the oath of allegiance has led to low morale in various government departments, and this Culture of allegiance runs counter to the previous principle of political neutrality of civil servants. He revealed that some senior civil servants, even though close to retirement age, would rather sacrifice “pension” (Note: Hong Kong civil servants enjoy a one-Time pension, but also after retirement, to receive a monthly salary, called “pension”), willing to pay money in lieu of notice instantly Therefore, the outbreak of departures in the Labour Department is by no means the tip of the iceberg.

The loss of talent in the Labor Department will affect the provision of services, and the departure of experienced people will definitely reduce the efficiency of the department; in addition, the departure of important civil servants responsible for the MPF hedging policy, it is feared that the implementation of the hedging program to cancel the MPF will be delayed again and again.