Transcript of remarks at press conference on Principal Official appointments (4) (with video)
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.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Issued at HKT 23:29
Issued at HKT 23:29
Audio / Video
Press conference on Principal Official appointments Part 4
CE-elect's opening speech on the appointments of Principal Officials of fifth-term HKSAR Government (with photos/video) Transcript of remarks at press conference on Principal Official appointments (1) (with photos/video) Transcript of remarks at press conference on Principal Official appointments (2) (with video) Transcript of remarks at press conference on Principal Official appointments (3) (with video)