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Maria Tam
Hong Kong politician

Maria Tam

Maria Tam
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Hong Kong politician
Is Judge Politician Lawyer Justice of the Peace
From China
Field Law Politics
Gender female
Birth 2 November 1945, British Hong Kong
Age 76 years
Politics Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong
The details (from wikipedia)


Maria Tam Wai-chu CBE GBM GBS JP (Traditional Chinese: 譚惠珠) is a barrister by profession and a politician of Hong Kong. Maria Tam grew up in Hong Kong, and her ancestral hometown is Zhongshan CIty, mainland China.


Tam entered into politics when she ran in the 1979 Urban Council election as the advocate for women's rights. In the 1980s she was a member of four different levels councils in Hong Kong, namely the Executive and Legislative Councils, the Urban Council and the Central and Western District Board. During her office in the colonial government, she witnessed the Sino-British negotiations on the political status of Hong Kong after 1997 and the Sino-British Joint Declaration. She was appointed to many positions by Beijing during the transition period, such as member of the Preparatory Committee for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (PRC) and Hong Kong Affairs Advisor (PRC).

She is also a former chairman of the Transport Advisory Committee during colonial rule, but she became tainted upon revelations that she had failed to declare her family investment in taxi businesses in the territory whilst she held the post.

Tam was co-opted into the colonial government and "quickly became one of its most loyal mouthpieces". Before the handover of Hong Kong, she helped to form a less than successful pro-Beijing party and was "among a group of prominent turncoats that switched from being cheerleaders for the colonial regime to supporters of the new order."

Tam a member of the Advisory Committee on Corruption of the ICAC, and (from 2014) the influential chairman of its Operations Review Committee, giving her a major role in the controversial sacking of high-flying head of investigations Rebecca Li Bo-lan. The sudden dismissal came during Li's enquiry into possible impropriety relating to a $50 million payment made to Chief Executive CY Leung, who himself makes such ICAC appointments, on the advice of Tam's committee.

Tam is a member of the Board of the Airport Authority Hong Kong.

After the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong she became deputy to the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and a member of the Committee for the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR under the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

In February 2006, Tam joined the board of subsequently Hong Kong-listed mainland Nine Dragons Paper Holdings Limited, one of the world's largest paperboard manufacturers, whose conditions for workers at its plants were sharply criticised in the 2008 human rights report by the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China and by Hong Kong's Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM).

As the member of the Basic Law committee, she became a spokeswoman for the Beijing authority on the issues of Basic Law and constitutional reform. In 2013 on the matter of the universal suffrage of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, she said the United Nations' International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights indicated that the right to be elected is not universal. She also suggested that an interpretation of the Basic Law by Beijing could be the last option for determining how universal suffrage could be implemented for the 2017 chief executive election.


An alumna of St. Paul's Co-educational College, she received her legal education at the University of London and subsequently became a member of Gray’s Inn, London.


She received the Grand Bauhinia Medal on 1 July 2013.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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