Work together to make Hong Kong an even better place
Members of political team of the new Government have gradually assumed office. Since taking office more than a month ago, I have gradually started working on various projects and can truly feel the numerous challenges and enormous responsibilities ahead. During my recent district visits to meet the public, I realised that there is rising public expectation on the Government and we must respond swiftly and accurately to the aspirations of various parties. As described by those outside the Government, the Development Bureau (DEVB) always has to handle a lot of “hot potatoes”, such as land use planning, brownfield site controversies, new town development, reclamation and land formation, works supervision as well as built heritage conservation. Therefore, I have long felt the heat of this hot kitchen whether as the Secretary or a civil servant in my former capacity.
Hong Kong is a pluralistic society. Heated discussions in the community over thorny issues are absolutely inevitable, and the Government will definitely listen carefully to these different voices. Whether through “heated debate” or “extensive communication”, we are willing to discuss with various stakeholders to reach a consensus proactively and solve the problems together, so as to promote the sustainable development of Hong Kong.
Visit the districts to exchange ideas with the public and understand their views
I have visited two districts within a month after taking office. Apart from my earlier visit to Tai Po to learn about the flood prevention works and follow-up initiatives, some colleagues and I also visited the elderly and families in Sham Shui Po District recently to understand their living environment and needs, and express our care. We also met with the District Council Members to listen to their views and suggestions on government policies, and exchanged views on the residents’ concerns. Later, I paid a visit to the Jao Tsung-I Academy in Lai Chi Kok to know more about the conservation, revitalisation and unique roles of the Grade 3 historic building cluster in response to society’s aspirations for built heritage conservation. I believe that through district visits and enhanced interactions and communication with the public, we can better cater for the development and needs of the local communities in our community planning and policy making. In future, I will seek more opportunities to visit various districts to meet the public and understand their views.
Work together with the Under Secretary and the Political Assistant
In fact, under the purview of the DEVB are nine departments, which are faced with numerous challenges and a heavy workload on a daily basis. I am very pleased with the recent addition of two aides to work with me, namely the Under Secretary for Development (USDEV), Mr LIU Chun-san, and the Political Assistant (PA) to the Secretary for Development, Mr FUNG Ying-lun, Allen. Both are highly experienced and I believe that once taking office, they can be immediately committed to their work. Together with the professional civil servants, I am confident that we can stand united to take forward various initiatives of the DEVB. Let me take this opportunity to briefly introduce their background and work:
The newly appointed USDEV, Mr LIU (also known as CS) has more than 30 years of experience in civil engineering and is a professional staff in the works departments. In recent years, he was the Project Manager (New Territories West Development Office) of the Civil Engineering and Development Department. In my former capacity as the Permanent Secretary for Development, I was more familiar with the work regarding planning and lands. As for the works portfolio, however, CS definitely has more knowledge and experience than I. In future, we will take forward different projects relating to various new development areas and land supply in the New Territories, which will involve a lot of infrastructure projects. CS and I will work together and complement each other so as to implement various initiatives more effectively. I know that since taking up the new post, CS is willing to make earnest efforts to communicate and collaborate with various sectors so as to reduce dispute and ensure the smooth implementation of various projects. I believe that this is also what the community expects of us.
My other partner is the PA, Mr Allen FUNG, who worked in the same position at the DEVB with the previous Government. There were many opportunities for us to work together in the past, and he is such a young and promising talent that he has provided the Government with lots of valuable opinions on various issues. Not all political communications or lobbying have to be carried out in the limelight. I know that in the past couple of years, Allen has been communicating proactively with the Legislative Council, District Councils and stakeholders of various organisations to help explain different policy initiatives of the Government.
Looking ahead, I hope that these two new partners and I will bring out the best in us, so as to help make Hong Kong an even better place.
The Jao Tsung-I Academy is among the first batch of revitalisation projects under the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme of the DEVB. For more details, please visit the following website: http://www.jtia.hk/
6 August, 2017