Hui was understood to have been suffering from breast cancer.
Former Hong Kong undersecretary for home affairs Florence Hui Hiu-fai, tipped in 2012 to become the city’s first culture minister, died on Monday morning aged 44.
It was understood she had been suffering from breast cancer and died due to complications from the disease.
Hui, a graduate of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, was appointed undersecretary in 2008 and reappointed in 2012. She left the government last year after a nine-year stint.
Before her public service she was head of business planning and development for Northeast Asia at Standard Chartered Bank.
During her career in finance she also served as secretary of the Hong Kong Association of Banks.
In 2012 Hui was tipped to become the minister for a new culture bureau proposed by then incoming Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying.
Leung had promised in his election manifesto to set up the bureau to promote the development of arts and culture. But his plan failed after filibustering by pan-democrat lawmakers.
In March this year Hui was appointed a member of the board for the Hong Kong Palace Museum.
“She was one of the few officials who knew culture, high and low, and made unprepared speeches with grace and modesty,” said cultural critic Oliver Chou, whose music reviews Hui read regularly.
“During her home affairs years, she was probably the only official I knew of who facilitated support for many local arts groups, and the absence of a cultural office did not affect her efforts to help the needy.”
Hui was also a leading supporter of a campaign to set up an institute inside a historic building in the Mid-Levels in honour of late Chinese scholar Nan Huai-chin, who helped broker talks between mainland China and Taiwan in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Between 1988 and 2003 Nan lived on the fourth floor of Roberts Block at 36B Kennedy Road.
By May this year the initiative had raised HK$20 million (US$2.55 million) towards the cause.
Hui is survived by her husband and two daughters.