Priority given to livelihood issues in HK

(China Daily) 09:56, July 06, 2022

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu (left) and Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, convenor of the Executive Council, meet with reporters at the Central Government Office in Hong Kong, on Tuesday. CALVIN NG/CHINA DAILY

Public housing, epidemic control and tourism recovery among key tasks

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu has given the greatest priority to livelihood matters since taking office and will discuss the seven most important issues for his administration during his first Legislative Council Question and Answer session on Wednesday.

Talking to journalists before his first meeting with Executive Council members on Tuesday, Lee said he had set up two task forces to deal with public housing issues, as promised in his policy platform, and one of them will submit a report in the first 100 days of his administration.

To balance the demands of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraging a recovery in tourism, Lee said he had asked Secretary for Health Lo Chung-mau to review anti-COVID strategies and explore the possibility of shortening the quarantine period to reduce inconvenience for visitors.

Lee said that in matters of government decision-making he will value suggestions offered by members of the Executive Council, which comprises experts with rich experience from diverse backgrounds.

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, the council's convener, who talked to reporters alongside Lee, said the council had already started working on Monday and will try its best to provide constructive suggestions to Lee over the next five years of his term.

To make Wednesday's Question and Answer session more focused, the government listed seven areas that it hopes will be discussed, including measures in response to President Xi Jinping's speech on July 1, land and housing supply and anti-pandemic work.

In his speech marking the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, Xi outlined four proposals for the city, one of which was that its administrators should address people's concerns and difficulties in daily life.

Legislative Council President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen told reporters on Tuesday that the new administration led by Lee urgently needs to listen to different views and generate policies to bring Hong Kong forward, calling on lawmakers to actively offer insights during Wednesday's session.

Leung also said he had approved a motion, brought forward by lawmaker Starry Lee Wai-king, to deliberate on the best ways to meet Xi's expectations for the city as soon as possible.

The chief executive and Executive Council also agreed on Tuesday that they would increase the pay of all civil servants by 2.5 percent for 2022-23, effective retroactively from April 1.

(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)