Transcript of remarks at press conference on Principal Official appointments (with photos/video)
Following is the transcript of remarks from the press conference by the Chief Executive-elect, Mrs Carrie Lam, and the new team of Principal Officials for the fifth term of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government at the Conference Hall, Central Government Offices, Tamar, today (June 21):
Reporter: So, Dr Law is the only one who joined the cabinet from outside the Government. During the time you formed the cabinet, do you feel that Beijing considers loyalty and trustworthiness more important than popularity and capability? And the second question is, the system is supposed to inject new blood into the Government from the outside, so has this system, the political appointment system, failed by now to inject new blood and new thinking into the Administration?
Chief Executive-elect: Well first of all, I think by design the politically accountable system does not necessarily mean that in the change of term we need to find new blood, if you define new blood as unfamiliar faces, or people who have never joined the Government. The political system, by design, is to ensure that each and every of the politically accountable officials will take up political and personal responsibility for the decisions that they take, and for the actions that they implement, during their term of office. And in that respect the 16 politically appointed officials, including myself, will certainly abide by that spirit. We will take responsibility for the decisions that we make and the things that we are going to do in the next term of the HKSAR Government. As you will appreciate, regarding your first question, under the Basic Law, Principal Officials are nominated by the Chief Executive and appointed by the Central People's Government. In this particular case, all the Principal Officials were nominated by me and supported and appointed by the Central People's Government.
Reporter: Mrs Lam, how are you going to bring in a new style of governance if only one person of your cabinet is so-called new blood? And you also said you would like to see more younger members and women joining your cabinet. Do you think you have failed to achieve your goal?
Chief Executive-elect: Well, first of all, I have made it very clear in my election manifesto and to each and every of the Principal Officials that I want to see the next term of the Hong Kong SAR Government adopting a new style of governance and be more proactive in discharging new roles of the Government and in adopting a new fiscal philosophy. I have also given each of them a copy of my manifesto, so they know exactly what I mean when I refer to this new style of governance, new roles and new fiscal philosophy. So I'm very confident that, as a member of this new team, that each and every (one) will put in their best to deliver what I've promised in my manifesto.
As far as the participation of young people, I'm very, very serious about this, but of course you will appreciate that in order to discharge the role of a Principal Official, you do need to have that rich experience, whether in the private sector or in the government sector. So perhaps the Principal Officials that you see today may not look very young, but I can assure you that you will see more young people’s faces in other areas. One is of course in the two other layers, the Under Secretaries as well as the Political Assistants. Secondly is in the revamped Central Policy Unit, which I have promised to recruit 20 to 30 young people, also from different political affiliations, to join the Government on contracts so that they understand more how a government operation is about. And thirdly, I hope that you'll be seeing more young people's faces in the various government boards and committees.
Reporter: A question for Mr Yuen. My question for you is: are you going to step down or leave your post after completing the co-location issue? And the second question is that you said earlier that you have some health problems, health issue that would have prevented you from taking up this post. How about your body now? Is it OK?
Secretary for Justice (designate): Thank you for your question. I think to put the record straight, there have been suggestions in the media that there are health issues about me. But to set the record straight, may I say again, I don't think I have myself said that I have health issues which would prevent me from discharging the duties. Of course everyone, I suppose everyone here, me myself included, would have to, from time to time, perhaps consult the doctor or take some medicine. That is human. But whether or not it would affect my function or my ability to discharge my role as the Secretary for Justice is a totally different question. I would have thought, I guess, you can be the person to make the assessment. My friends can be the persons making the assessment. Up till now, I think I feel perfectly in a position to discharge, as well as to continue to discharge, my role as the Secretary for Justice.
As regards the first part of your question, I think what I can do is to perhaps repeat very briefly what I have said in Chinese earlier when I responded to an earlier question. And the crux of my answer is that time is not the most crucial consideration. From my perspective, what is important is that as long as I remain the Secretary for Justice, I would do my best to discharge my duties and to handle as many things as I would need to handle, including of course the issue of co-location. I fully appreciate that everyone, or at least the majority of people in Hong Kong are concerned with the co-location issue. And that is something which the current term of the Government as well as the next term of the Government would have to deal with great care. As I and my other colleagues have said in the past, we would endeavour to ensure that any co-location plan or arrangement would be consistent with the Basic Law provisions as well as the "one country, two systems" policy. Thank you.
Chief Secretary for Administration (designate): I feel hugely honoured to have been nominated by the Chief Executive-elect, Mrs Carrie Lam, and approved by the Central People’s Government as the Chief Secretary for Administration in the fifth term of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. This is, indeed, the most challenging and important mission in my 45 years of public service.
I have been working very closely with the Chief Executive-elect for many years. We share the same philosophy on major livelihood issues in relation to population policy, poverty alleviation, elderly care and support for the disadvantaged. As the Chief Secretary for Administration of the new-term Government, I am determined to exert myself in implementing “One Country, Two Systems”, “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and a high degree of autonomy strictly in accordance with the Basic Law in the next five years. I will also do my utmost to assist the Chief Executive-elect in delivering her manifesto by improving people’s livelihood, alleviating hardship and fostering upward social mobility in a more innovative, interactive and collaborative manner, with a view to developing Hong Kong into a harmonious, caring, inclusive and liveable Asia’s World City.
I fully understand the community's expectations for the new-term Government. I pledge to do my very best to safeguard the core values of Hong Kong, adopt a proactive approach to improve the relationship between the executive authorities and the Legislative Council, strengthen the co-ordination of cross-bureau and cross-departmental policies, enhance efficiency in governance, and lead our civil servants in serving the whole community. I will also continue to explore further room for development for Hong Kong, seize new opportunities, foster exchanges and co-operation with the Mainland, and forge closer international connections. These include facilitating the development of the Belt and Road initiative, deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong co-operation and promoting the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area, with a view to enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness in the long term.
As the Chief Secretary for Administration, I will take the initiative to care and listen more, and act more proactively to respond to the aspirations and needs of the community. I will fully support the Chief Executive-elect in implementing four key priorities in her manifesto, and that is improving people’s livelihood, boosting civil service morale, promoting manpower development and fostering youth development.
I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the current Chief Executive, Mr Leung Chun-ying, for his support and trust in the past five years. My thanks also go to the team of Politically Appointed Officials and my civil service colleagues for their support and encouragement.
I much look forward to joining hands with the new political team and the entire civil service to serve the people of Hong Kong and propel Hong Kong forward in the next five years.
Financial Secretary (designate): Fellow Hong Kong citizens, friends of the media, I am deeply honoured to be nominated by the Chief Executive-elect, Mrs Carrie Lam, and appointed by the Central People's Government as Financial Secretary. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the people of Hong Kong.
I fully understand the huge responsibility of the Financial Secretary. In the coming five years, I shall do my utmost to achieve three major targets. The first is to proactively develop the economy and improve people's livelihood. I shall endeavour to maintain the financial stability of Hong Kong, enhance our business environment, and nurture the development of a more diversified economy. We will be actively promoting the further development of our pillar industries, facilitating the development of the innovation and technology sector and other new industries that we have competitive advantages. In this way, people from different segments of the society will be able to share the benefits of economic growth, and there will also be more quality jobs for our young generation.
Second, we will continue to invest in our future and make Hong Kong an even more liveable, convenient, efficient and competitive city. We will continue to invest in infrastructure. Increasing land supply will continue to be one of our key focus. We hope the community can support our work in this regard.
Third, I will strive to preserve our healthy public finance, and make good use of our resources in a timely manner to support various initiatives to cater for the needs of the community. I will strive to build a just, caring and inclusive society.
Ladies and gentlemen, what Hong Kong has achieved in the past few decades is nothing short of an economic miracle. While we had our ups and downs, each and every time we rose up to the challenges and came out even more vibrant and competitive, thanks to the unique advantage of "one country, two systems" and the resilience and flexibility of Hong Kong people. We should continue to believe in, and be confident of ourselves. Going forward, we must remain vigilant about the latest global and regional developments, and be forward-looking and innovative. We must seize the opportunities ahead of us to drive a more diversified economy, creating more quality jobs for the benefit our people. Thank you.
Secretary for Justice (designate): Ladies and gentlemen, I am very honoured to have the opportunity to continue to serve Hong Kong as the Secretary for Justice. I thank Mrs Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive-Elect, for nominating me, and also thank the Central People’s Government for appointing me as the Secretary for Justice.
I believe no one here will doubt the importance of the rule of law. The single most important role of the Secretary for Justice is to maintain the rule of law. This will continue to be my top priority as well as the top priority of the Department of Justice. One of the key concepts of the rule of law is that no one, including the Government, is above the law. One of my roles is therefore to provide advice to the Government so as to ensure that Government policy and executive acts are within the legal limit of the Government’s power. I will therefore, as I have said before, have no hesitation to give independent advice to the Government and my colleagues from a legal and professional angle, bearing in mind my role as the guardian of public interest.
Another key aspect of my work will be in respect of Hong Kong’s status as an international legal and dispute resolution centre in the Asia-Pacific region. In the past five years or so, we have been working closely with relevant stakeholders to consolidate Hong Kong’s competitiveness in this regard. Although we are facing considerable competition in the region, I will continue to take steps to further consolidate Hong Kong’s status as an international legal and dispute resolution centre, whether generally or in the specific context of the Belt and Road Initiative or the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area context.
Thank you very much.
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (designate): I am deeply honoured to have been nominated by the Chief Executive-Elect, and appointed by the Central People’s Government as the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development.
I am humbled to have this opportunity to continue serving our people. Hong Kong is our home and I for one see it as our common responsibility to build it a better place. There is no better way than serving our people by serving in the Government. This was the reason I chose Government service as my career some 36 years ago. And it is the same reason that I decided to stay on and I am still loyal to this belief today.
The portfolio before me is one that is versatile, diverse, as well as important and challenging. It is diverse as it covers quite a wide spectrum of policy areas from trade, commerce to telecommunications and broadcasting, and from promotion of creative industries to boosting inward investment and tourism. And they are all vital to us in creating wealth, in creating jobs, and in bringing about betterment for all walks of life in our society.
It is a challenging job, as Government today is expected of a role more than before. We have to innovate, we have to facilitate, we have to promote instead of just regulate. This holds more truth in my area of work, as we have to open new doors, build platforms and set sailing for ventures if we are determined to bring our economy to scale new height. That said, we must not forego our respect of the market principles and level playing field as Hong Kong prides herself as the freest, the most open and competitive economy in the world.
As the Chief Executive-Elect said during her campaign, there is a lot of room for Hong Kong to do even better if we could find new growth engine and ride on business opportunities especially those we stand to gain from the fast progressing Mainland market, as well as the progressive national economic and trade policies.
For this to be achieved, we must work hand in hand with various sectors of the community and all stakeholders. In particular, we must put our acts together, within the Government, and among different bureaux and departments.
Hong Kong is not just a Chinese city but “the international trade and commerce centre” of our country. And we also got talents, entrepreneurship and the can-do spirit that have stood the test of time and challenges.
We all know full well that there are high expectations for the new Government and we must work even harder and smarter. And I am proud to be part of this team and this common mission.
Secretary for Innovation and Technology (designate): I am truly honored to be appointed as the Secretary for Innovation and Technology by the Central People’s Government, on nomination by the Chief-Executive-elect. It’s a great privilege to continue serving Hong Kong in this challenging post.
During the past 19 months, my team and I have spared no efforts to improve Hong Kong’s innovation and technology ecosystem. Innovation and technology can foster both economic growth and social development. The key is to find the right execution angle.
I am aware of the expectation of the community and Hong Kong must step up its efforts in innovation and technology. We will maintain and sustain the momentum we have started, leverage our strengths and identify new growth directions to put Hong Kong on the forefront of global innovation. Thank you very much.
Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury (designate): Good afternoon. I am deeply honoured to have been nominated by Mrs Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive-elect, and appointed by the Central People’s Government to serve in the fifth term of the HKSAR Government as the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury.
I have been the Under Secretary for the past three and a half years, and will do my utmost to serve Hong Kong in the coming five years’ term. First, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Professor Chan for his exemplary leadership and the unfailing support of the civil service colleagues. KC’s team has laid a solid base for the development of the financial services sector in Hong Kong. I trust that my years of experience in the government and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority would equip me well to take our achievement to a new height.
To bring about enhancements and changes, communication with our stakeholders is ever so important. And as a government official, we need the support of our legislators, market and industry stakeholders and the general public. I therefore look forward to maintaining a close relationship and discussing government policy measures with them so that they can share and support our vision.
Financial stability is the key to a stable and growing economy that brings about improvements to the livelihood of our people. My team and I will continue to develop our financial markets and enhance our competitiveness, and Hong Kong should leverage more on the opportunities brought about by developments in such as Fintech and green finance. We will step up efforts to internationalise our equity market and to make sure that our listing platform remains competitive.
Hong Kong has just been admitted as a new member to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China is actively pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative and developing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area. We must capitalise on these opportunities for our financial services sector and explore more channels to connect with the Mainland financial markets for the continuous development of Hong Kong as an offshore Renminbi hub.
Hong Kong as a leading international financial centre is well known for its robust regulatory framework, the rule of law and the free flow of capital, information and talent. We will certainly strive to maintain our edge and do our best to strike a good balance among market development, market quality and investor protection. This will enable the financial services industry to continue to serve the real economy and the people of Hong Kong well.
Secretary for the Civil Service (designate): Ladies and gentlemen, I am very honoured to be appointed Secretary for the Civil Service by the Central People’s Government. I also wish to express my gratitude to the Chief Executive-elect for her nomination.
I have worked in the government for nearly 37 years, and I have served the community wholeheartedly from day one. This commitment has never changed. To serve in the fifth SAR Government as a political appointee will enable me to continue serving members of the public by making use of my experience accumulated at various positions to lead the management and development of the civil service to assist in policy implementation.
Our civil service upholds a set of fine core values, including commitment to the rule of law, honesty and integrity, dedication, professionalism and diligence, and political neutrality. I take pride in leading such a highly efficient and distinguished team. Upon assuming office, my priority is to safeguard these values.
With the rising public expectations of the government, workload and pressure facing civil servants will inevitably increase. The government will consider how to make suitable deployment in manpower and other resources to maintain the morale of the civil service, and to enable our colleagues to continue adopting a proactive attitude and a will to strive for excellence in providing quality service to the community.
The Chief Executive-elect has said that she will follow the principles of "we care", "we listen", "we act" in responding to the aspirations of civil servants. I pledge to maintain close communication and contact with the civil service colleagues, in order to identify desirable solutions to various issues.
To enhance the morale of the civil service and to forge a close partnership, I will, through various platforms and means, try to understand the working situation of colleagues of different ranks. We are in the same boat. Therefore we should exchange views frankly on various topics. Although on occasions the management and the staff side may have different stances and opinions, I deeply believe that communication is the basis for building mutual trust, the key to identifying common and mutually beneficial grounds, and the prescription for narrowing differences in views and reaching consensus.
I, together with and the civil service, look forward to a continued co-operation with the Legislative Council and various sectors in the community to work together for the well-being of Hong Kong - our home, as well as its prosperity and stability. Thank you very much.
Secretary for Security (designate): People of Hong Kong, media friends, I would like to thank the Chief Executive-elect for her nomination, and the Central People's Government, for appointing me as the Secretary for Security, of the Hong Kong SAR fifth term Government.
Security Bureau is responsible for a wide-ranging policy portfolio, including the maintenance of law and order, immigration and customs control, fire and emergency service, save and rescue, rehabilitating offenders, etc. These policies are implemented on a day-to-day basis, by six disciplined and two auxiliary services. Upon assuming office, I shall formulate policies in a pragmatic, serious and impartial manner. I shall actively communicate with my colleagues, so that we together make concerted efforts to ensure that Hong Kong continues to be one of the safest cities in the world, and that we together provide efficient and reliable services to society.
I shall do my best to communicate with members of the Legislative Council, political parties, the community as well as the media by listening to their views, explaining our polices, and gain their support.
Over the past almost five years, I have been participating in formulating security policies, in the capacity as the Under Secretary. This helps in facilitating a smooth transition within Security Bureau. I would like to express my gratitude to the incumbent Secretary, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, for laying a solid foundation for the policy portfolio of the Bureau. I have learnt a lot through working under his leadership.
As Secretary for Security, I understand there is a tall order of responsibilities, which I shall do my utmost to fulfill. I was born in Hong Kong. Hong Kong raised me up. I am proud and honoured to be able to make contribution to my home city. Thank you!
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs (designate): Fellow citizens and members of the media, I am deeply grateful to the Chief Executive-Elect for her nomination and to the Central People’s Government for appointing me as the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs of the fifth-term Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. I am mindful of the huge responsibilities entrusted to me.
As the Chief Executive-Elect has pointed out, the new term government will attach great importance to communication and interaction. As for me, I will be humble, rational, pragmatic, sincere, open and receptive. I will reach out to different stakeholders, listen to their views, and explain in detail the government’s vision and policies with a view to narrowing differences, reaching consensus and working together towards building a harmonious and inclusive society.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is established in accordance with the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China. I shall carry out my duties as the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs in accordance with the Basic Law and relevant legislation under the leadership of the Chief Executive during my tenure.
I have been a civil servant under the Administrative Service of the government for the past 30 years, and I shall be part of the government team as a politically appointed official in the next five years. I will continue to serve the people of Hong Kong and contribute to the future development of Hong Kong with passion, dedication and sincerity.
Thank you very much!
Reporter: I’m from RTHK, first that, I would like to ask Mr John Lee, do you expect Article 23 to be enacted? Would you put forth it under your tenure? And secondly, another one for Mr Patrick Nip, how would you assess whether Hong Kong is ready to restart political reform and would you try to make that happen? Thank you.
Secretary for Security (designate): Thank you for your question. I support the Chief Executive-elect’s thinking in connection with the issue regarding legislating for Article 23. She has said in her manifesto very clearly that legislating for Article 23 is the constitutional responsibility of the government but we are also aware that this is a very contentious issue. In her manifesto, she has stated very clearly that we will endeavour to create an environment which will be beneficial to legislating for Article 23. I support and agree with her approach, so we will proceed in accordance with her thinking in this regard.
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs (designate): Thank you for your question. On the issue of political reform or universal suffrage, I think the Chief Executive-Elect has made clear in her manifesto that we need to create a favourable environment to take forward this important subject, given the very controversial nature of the issue. The Basic Law has laid down the provision on the ultimate aim of achieving universal suffrage (in the selection) of the Chief Executive. So we will work towards this aim and I think, during my tenure, I will do my very best to communicate with various stakeholders, listen to their views, with a view to narrowing the differences, because we all know that for this matter to be taken forward, we need the agreement of the Central People’s Government, the Chief Executive and also the Legislative Council. Thank you very much.
The Secretary for the Environment (designate): Being re-appointed as the Secretary for the Environment, I would like to say thank you to all those who gave support to me and the Hong Kong environment, including my Under Secretary, Ms Christine Loh, my Political Assistant, Ms Michelle Au, colleagues in the Government, various stakeholders in the community and my family, in particular, my wife for her understanding.
In the new term, as said in the CE-elect’s manifesto, we will carry on implementing various environmental action blueprints, embracing air quality, waste management, energy saving, biodiversity and climate change. Overall, I share the concept of closer collaboration to implement various environmental policies, with closer collaboration and support between bureaux and departments. At the same time, we need societal transformation, including behavioural change.
Let’s work together, waste less, save more, support “Food Wise”, and embrace a low-carbon lifestyle. Let’s make Hong Kong a more livable and low-carbon city for our coming future. Thank you.
Secretary for Home Affairs (designate): I must thank Mrs Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive-elect for nominating me and the Central People’s Government for approving the appointment. I am honoured to be re-appointed as Secretary for Home Affairs.
During my current term of almost two years as Secretary for Home Affairs, I and my team of politically-appointed officials and civil servants have been pragmatic and spared no effort in serving the community. We shall continue to work hard in the areas of district administration, sports, culture and youth development.
Under district administration, there are two significant ordinances governing private property management. The Property Management Services Authority has been set up and is now in operation following the enactment of the Property Management Services Ordinance; the public consultation for the Building Management Ordinance has been completed, recommendations are submitted to the Legislative Council which we are now collecting views in various districts.
On youth development, apart from organising internship and exchange programmes on the Mainland, we have developed the new “International Youth Exchange Sponsored Programme”, under which more young people will be able to broaden their horizon.
Regarding sports and culture, the Xiqu Centre in the West Kowloon Cultural District will be opened next year, we also hope to secure funding for the Kai Tak Sports Park so that the project can be carried forward.
In the coming five years, I will implement the Manifesto of the Chief Executive-elect. I will listen to the views of people from all walks of life and be more pro-active in leading the work of the Home Affairs portfolio. Thank you.
Secretary for Labour and Welfare (designate): My fellow citizens, friends from the media, I am honored to be appointed as the Secretary for Labour and Welfare for the next term. While I was named by the media as the only new face to the new term of the Administration, I did not feel like so. Ever since the days that I served in the Legislative Council, serving in various committees of the Government, in particular as Chair of the Community Care Fund Task Force, and from time to time serving as consultant to the various bureaux and departments, I have been serving the Government in the broad sense. Constitutionally, I will be serving the People’s Republic of China Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. To me, for the past, the present and in the future, in whatever capacity, I am serving the community of Hong Kong.
The Labour and Welfare Bureau (LWB) is tasked to safeguard the rights and benefits of employees and promote the well-being of the underprivileged. However, these cannot be achieved alone by the Bureau or the relevant departments. These can only be achieved with a much broader participation of the society. The business sector, the NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and the civic society as a whole are key players to all these policy areas. My role is not only leading the Bureau, but to develop a closer partnership with the business sector, the NGOs and the civic society.
Apart from the ongoing work of the Bureau and the various policy initiatives spelt out in the election platform of our CE-Elect, the LWB has to deal with two major challenges that Hong Kong will be facing, that is the rapid ageing society and the projected reduction in our labour force just around the corner. The Bureau has the responsibility to better plan and mobilise the various sectors in the society to be better prepared to face these challenges. For these, we need all the support from all of you. Thank you.
Secretary for Transport and Housing (designate): Dear fellow Hong Kong citizens and friends of the media, it is my greatest honour to serve fellow Hong Kong citizens, the SAR Government and our Country. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Chief Executive-elect, Mrs Lam, and our state leaders for their trust in me. I am humbled to be given the opportunity to continue serving the community in my new post.
Housing and transport are integral parts of our livelihood. Hong Kong is a relatively affluent city. Our people aspire to have a better place to live in and work. Our mission is to provide a safe and hygienic accommodation for the needy, and we strive to expedite the provision of public rental housing and rebuild the “housing ladder” so as to bring hope of home ownership. To this end, the incoming Secretary for Development and I will collaborate very closely with the view to optimising the use of existing land and housing resources with innovative mindset, as well as building up reserve to meet the housing demand in the long run.
Hong Kong is at the global forefront of air and marine transport, both in terms of passenger flow and cargo volume. We must therefore ensure transport infrastructures are in place to enable sustainable development of Hong Kong and help enhance the city’s competitiveness. As for inland transport, we will continue to “centre on public transport with railway as the backbone” with a view to providing reliable, quality and efficient services for the public. We are committed to explore technology applications to provide timely traffic information, and to build a low-carbon, green and age-friendly transport system for the community.
Given the formidable challenges ahead and public expectations, we will strengthen communication and interaction with the community, the legislature, and relevant stakeholders in a bid to reach a broad consensus to effectively implement our policy for transport and housing. My colleagues and I will serve with our very best and we look forward to your support. Thank you.
Secretary for Food and Health (designate): Good afternoon, dear citizens of Hong Kong and friends of the media, it is my honour to be nominated by our Chief Executive-elect, Mrs Carrie Lam, and be appointed as the Secretary for Food and Health by the Central People’s Government. In the past five years, I have been working very hard to safeguard public health, to provide quality medical services, to ensure food safety and environmental hygiene as well as to assist the sustainable development of fishery and also agriculture. And I will do the same in the coming five years.
On medical services, I will formulate long term health policies and through more cross-sector and cross-disciplinary collaboration, to continue to take forward the dual-track system of public and private healthcare services, and to enhance the overall medical and healthcare services. Although there are more imminent issues to be addressed immediately including long waiting time of the patients and manpower shortage of healthcare professionals and also the amendment of the Medical Registration Ordinance, etc, I will place greater efforts to develop primary healthcare as well as the control and also prevention of non-communicable diseases , that is, chronic diseases, as well as communicable diseases to reduce the need for specialist and also hospital services and plus the development of Chinese Medicine.
In mapping out strategies in respect of these issues, I will keep a very close contact with all sectors of the community, including medical service providers, patients’ groups, academies, professional groups, legislators and councillors, with a view to coming up with a consensus among stakeholders and also more timely putting in place policies and measures that are beneficial to everyone.
In the area of food safety, it would be utmost importance to work closely with the enforcement agencies of major food sectors. I will continue to take a proactive approach in monitoring and assessing the risk of various food sources and to formulate and implement prompt actions and responses, as necessary.
In respect to environmental hygiene, I realise that the support and cooperation of the district councils and community groups are very important. We will continue the involvement of the general public which is the key to a clean living environment.
Last but not least, I will also attach importance to the sustainable development of fishery and agriculture. I will keep a close dialogue with the sector to ensure the development of the industry would be in line with the changing needs of the community.
Finally, I would like to thank the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, for his leadership in taking forward various food and health polices in the past five years. In particular, I am also grateful to him for his trust and support to me so that I have the opportunity to participate in many of the formulation and promotion of the policies and taking charge in some of them.
In the coming years, my team and I in the Food and Health Bureau will continue to work diligently for the betterment of Hong Kong’s healthcare system and continue to enhance environmental hygiene and ensure food safety in Hong Kong, trying to contribute to the betterment of Hong Kong people. Thank you very much.
Secretary for Development (designate): Dear citizens, friends of the media, I am deeply honoured to be appointed as Secretary for Development for the new term of our Government, and I am grateful for the trust placed in me by the Chief Executive-elect and the Central People’s Government. I pledge to do my utmost to serve the people of Hong Kong.
The planning, development and supply of land will continue to be the main focus of the work of my Bureau. We will continue to press ahead with a multi-pronged strategy to increase land supply. In particular, we will strive to make Hong Kong a more liveable city and improve our quality of life.
With regard to public works, we will endeavour to implement cost-effective capital works projects and to enhance Hong Kong's long-term competitiveness.
While pursuing various development goals, one thing we must not and should never forget is the conservation of our environment. We will fully take conservation into account in all our works projects to ensure that our development will be sustainable.
I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the current Secretary for Development, Mr Eric Ma, and his predecessor, Mr Paul Chan, for their effective and most inspiring leadership of the Development Bureau.
There are nine departments under the purview of the Bureau, with a total of more than 20,000 staff. Together, we will work as equal partners to serve you. I agree with the remarks of the Secretary for Transport and Housing (Designate), Mr Frank Chan, about the need to enhance the cooperation and communication between the two bureaux under our charge. I have every confidence that the two bureaux will forge a close partnership and perhaps a spirit of brotherhood in the coming term.
On various issues of significance, we will continue to maintain a sincere and close dialogue with the public, the legislature and different sectors of our society. I truly believe that if we can all work together, Hong Kong will become a more livable city and our people will enjoy a more quality environment. And you do deserve better.
Thank you very much.
The Secretary for Education (designate): I am honored to join the new-term Government and appreciate the opportunity serving Hong Kong in this new position.
In her Election Manifesto, the Chief Executive-elect (CE-elect) has clearly stated that "education is the key to nurturing talent” and “the Government expenditure on education is the most significant investment for our future.” I very much agree with her views and I shall make every possible effort to implement the relevant policy initiatives.
Since her commitment to increasing the recurrent expenditure on education by $5 billion each year, the CE-elect has been meeting with different stakesholders to gauge their views. As the Secretary for Education, I will continue to closely liaise and communicate with all education related parties, and we will announce the specific measures soon after taking office. Funding approval from the Finance Committee would be sought for the implementation of the priority measures in the 2017/18 school year.
This will mark the first milestone of the co-operation between the new-term Government and the education sector under "We Connect". We all understand that the road is long as far as education is concerned. There are no quick fixes for all the problems, but I truly believe that through interactive communication and mutual acceptance, we can move on one step at a time and achieve consensus and harmony. And we will be able to put CE-elect’s words into action, i.e. to nurture future generations to become citizens who are socially responsible and equipped with a sense of national identity, love for Hong Kong and international perspectives.
Reporter: Mr Fan Chan, some doubt about your capability of taking this job. How are you going to convince the public that you are the best choice? And, another one for Mr Kevin Yeung. When you mentioned about national education, do you agree with Carrie Lam that it should be implemented as early as in kindergarten and early childhood? And last one for Mr Law, to what extend do you think you are representing the pan-democratic voices and for the labour and welfare in this new job? Thank you.
Secretary for Transport and Housing (Designate): Whether or not I am the best choice for this particular position, I would refer to what the Chief Executive-elect has just mentioned during her Q&A session. She said very clearly the cabinet that she had proposed and had been accepted by the state leaders is a clear indication now the cabinet is the best of her choice.
Secretary for Education (designate): On national education in kindergartens, actually one of the key areas when we talk about the curriculum guidelines (Kindergarten Education Curriculum Guide) in the kindergarten education is about knowing oneself’s personal identity. For a small kid receiving kindergarten education, he or she starts to learn about his or her identity in respect of himself or herself, in respect of his or her family, in respect of his or her society, and also in respect of his or her nation. So I think it is just natural that in the education activities or teaching and learning activities, some of the areas in national education could come naturally in the curriculum. I think so far many of the kindergartens have been dealing with this issue very professionally. I can trust them that they will continue to do that.
Secretary for Labour and Welfare (designate): Let me quickly answer the question. Starting from July 1, I will be representing the Hong Kong SAR Government, in particular the area of labour and welfare policies. I don’t think the pan-democrats would expect me to represent them. But somehow as an individual with my own values and my expertise bring into the team, I guess I will express whatever what I represent in the terms of my own knowledge and values to the new Administration. So, I don’t think in real practice I will be representing any particular group of people.
Ends/Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Issued at HKT 23:29