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Transcript of remarks by CS at media session (with photo/video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session at the lobby of West Wing, Central Government Offices, Tamar, today (July 9):

Chief Secretary for Administration: Earlier today the Chief Executive and myself have decided that in light of the extreme filibuster that we have seen in the Legislative Council (LegCo), which has seriously undermined the smooth operation of the LegCo business, we have decided that we will reorder the business of the Legislative Council as well as the Finance Committee meetings. Basically, it is to put the proposals put up by the Administration relating to the reorganisation of the Government Secretariat to the end of the agenda, as far as government business is concerned, so as to allow those livelihood items to go before Legislative Council and hopefully they will be approved within this legislative session, because the Chief Executive attaches a lot of importance to promoting people's benefits. Most of those items have this very strong livelihood angle, and so we have decided that we will reorder the Government's business.

Reporter: Secretary, aren't you basically running up a white flag and admitting that it's over?

Chief Secretary for Administration: Not at all, because, as I said, this is not a withdrawal of the items. This is a rescheduling of the order of items proposed by the Administration to go before the Legislative Council, although in doing so I have to confess that in terms of the procedure of putting things before the Legislative Council, the Administration has adhered to the usual procedure, and in fact has allowed sufficient time for Legislative Council, for the various panels, for the subcommittees to deliberate on the proposals. The proposals actually have passed three of the needed hurdles in getting them approved. But having regard to these various serious, irrational delays instigated by the three Legislative Council Members, we have decided that we should put livelihood issues before the reorganisation, although we squarely accept that there could be undesirable consequences as far as the reorganisation proposals are concerned.

Reporter: Secretary, two quick points. First, beating a retreat is a kind of reorder. So, are you telling us you still have any hope of getting this through in the next seven days, or if this is something that doesn't go through, are there going to be some practical consequences you may have to deal with?

Chief Secretary for Administration: I have to stress again we are reordering the government business put before the Legislative Council. It is up to you to use your choice of words to describe what the executive has decided on this particular occasion. As far as hoped, I am always a very optimistic person so I remain hopeful. I have to stress it's hopeful, that before the Legislative Council goes into prorogue that we still have a chance to get the approval of Legislative Council Members on both the Finance Committee item as well as the resolution which we are about to put to the Legislative Council. As far as consequences I have already said in my opening remarks that there will be some consequences because the intention of creating two dedicated bureaus to look after very important matters of concern to people, like technology, like development of culture, there will be some implications for these areas. And without the two deputies there will also be implications in terms of how we could spare the attention and manpower resources to do the needed co-ordination at the highest level. But the only way, and I have to stress the only way to deal with those consequences is for the existing team to work as hard as anyone could. I can promise you that I will work very hard, I am not going to take a single day's leave in this summer, and I will spend all my time to work with my colleagues to drive the agenda of the Chief Executive. Thank you very much.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, July 9, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:23


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