Frederick Ma

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Frederick Ma Si-hang
Frederick Ma.JPG
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development
In office
1 July 2007 – 11 July 2008
Chief Executive Donald Tsang
Preceded by Joseph Wong
Stephen Ip
Succeeded by Rita Lau
Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury
In office
1 July 2002 – 30 June 2007
Preceded by Stephen Ip
Denise Yue
Succeeded by KC Chan
Personal details
Born (1952-02-22) 22 February 1952 (age 65)
Hong Kong
Alma mater University of Hong Kong
Religion Christianity
Frederick Ma
Traditional Chinese 馬時亨
Simplified Chinese 马时亨

Frederick Ma Si-hang GBS JP is the chairman of the MTR Corporation. As a former Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, he was a popular figure with the public and with legislators of all parties. He is the cousin of entertainer Eric Tsang[1] and uncle of evangelist Jaeson Ma.[2]


Ma was born the eldest of four children on 22 February 1952, and his father died when Ma was in his teens. He attended New Method College in Tai Hang, where his academic results were "less than fantastic". However, whilst there, he won an inter-school project for Hong Kong tourism.[3] He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and History with Honours at the University of Hong Kong.[4]

He graduated in 1973, dreaming of working for Cathay Pacific. As he was due to attend a second interview with the airline, Chase Manhattan made an offer with a promised starting salary of HK$1,600. He accepted the job with the bank, and was relocated to New York three years later.[3] At 27, he became Group Head of Chase Manhattan, in charge of institutional banking. After Chase, he became Chief Financial Officer of PCCW.

Government years[edit]

Giving up an annual salary of in excess of HK$10 million, Ma joined the government as a 'cabinet-level' political appointee under the Principal Officials Accountability System since 1 July 2002.[5]

Ma declared himself to be a Christian in 2002, and was affectionately known in Hong Kong as "Fat Ma" because of his portly physique.[6]

He served as Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury for a term of five years. In 2007, after Donald Tsang re-elected as Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Ma continued in SAR government, served as Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development. On 24 June 2008, Ma resigned from the government for health reasons. He was diagnosed with "cavernous hemangioma" and "venous angioma" (blood vessel tumours) in the brain.[7]

Subsequent years[edit]

In October of 2008, Ma took up an honorary professorship at the School of Economics and Finance at the University of Hong Kong.[8] During his time out, he took up a regime of exercise and lost 17 pounds, to finally weigh 180 pounds.[3]

In 2009, he was invited to the International Advisory Council of the Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation.[9] He was awarded a Gold Bauhinia Star.[4] It was announced in early November that Ma had been named the new non-executive chairman of China Strategic Holdings SEHK235; Raymond Or was named the company's vice-chairman and CEO.[10] The company's shares, which were suspended pending the announcement, closed 78 percent higher when they were relisted.[11]

Ma was appointed Justice of the Peace in 2010.[4]

In July 2015, Ma was named the chairman of the MTR Corporation.[12] He became chairman of the Education University of Hong Kong's governing council on 25 April 2017, by appointment of the Chief Executive. His term is three years.[13]


  1. ^ Tsang Kai-wing dies aged 94 after 35 years as corruption fugitive, SCMP, Danny Mok, 19 Jan 2011
  2. ^ "Ma nephew helps put Chen straight". The Standard. 30 April 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c Kwan, Elle (22 June 2009). "Call me `FIT MA'". The Standard. 
  4. ^ a b c "Professor Frederick Ma Si Hang". Honorary University Fellowships. University of Hong Kong. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  5. ^ Nickkita Lau, Patsy Moy & BonnieChen (25 June 2008). "Brain scare forces Fred Ma to resign". The Standard. Hong Kong. 
  6. ^ Ambrose Leung & Albert Wong (26 June 2008). "'Fat Ma' views golf, travel as a likely remedy". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. pp. A3. 
  7. ^ Frederick Ma resigns
  8. ^ Prof Ma to keep some things to himself, The Standard (21 October 2008)
  9. ^ "Gentleman Ma quick off mark". The Standard. 9 July 2009. 
  10. ^ Risk of appointing ex-government officer as senior management
  11. ^ Ng, Katherine (11 November 2009). "New Ma pursuit `not an issue'". The Standard. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Cheng, Kris (10 December 2016). "MTRC chairman Frederick Ma appointed to top position of university’s governing council". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 

Academic offices information was obtained from

Political offices
Preceded by
Denise Yue
as Secretary for the Treasury
Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury
Succeeded by
KC Chan
Preceded by
Stephen Ip
as Secretary for Financial Services
Preceded by
Joseph Wong
as Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development
Succeeded by
Rita Lau
Preceded by
Stephen Ip
as Secretary for Economic Development and Labour
Business positions
Preceded by
Raymond Chien
Chairman of the MTR Corporation Limited
Academic offices
Preceded by
Pang Yiu-kai
Chairman of the Education University of Hong Kong
2017– present
Order of precedence
Preceded by
James Wu
Recipients of the Gold Bauhinia Star
Hong Kong order of precedence
Recipients of the Gold Bauhinia Star
Succeeded by
Tsang Tak-sing
Recipients of the Gold Bauhinia Star