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

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session after chairing the Preparatory Task Force on the Commission on Poverty consultation session today (August 2):

Reporter: Mrs Lam, can you explain why the Policy Address is being presented in January, rather than October, and will that hold back the programmes which the Government wants to implement? And the second thing is, can you comment on Paul Chan's sub-divided flats scandal? Do you think he should continue in his job?

Chief Secretary for Administration: Today we have informed the Legislative Council Secretariat and issued a press release to say a few things about the commencement date of the fifth term of the Legislative Council, and about the date and the time of the first meeting of this new term of the Legislative Council. At the same time, we have announced that the Chief Executive has decided to sort of defer the promulgation of his first Policy Address to January 16 next year. Of course, this is then a few months later than his usual October Policy Address. The primary reason for doing this is to enable that the Chief Executive's first Policy Address will have sufficient time to consult with the Legislative Council Members, so that their views and their aspirations could be reflected in the Chief Executive's Policy Address.

     The reason for this is quite obvious. As the Chief Executive has said, this is the occasion that will only happen once every 20 years. There is a change in the executive, the SAR Government came into office on July 1 this year and immediately the Legislative Council went into prorogue on July 18, and there will be a Legislative Council Election. The new Legislative Council Members will only come back on October 1. We need to have sufficient time to consult them, to listen to their views, so the Chief Executive has decided to put back his first Policy Address to January next year.

     As to your question whether this will affect the introduction of needed initiatives to improve people's livelihood and things like that, the answer is no, because the Chief Executive has also said that as and when a particular measure, a particular initiative, is ready, the Government will roll out that initiative. We will not adopt the practice of saving all those initiatives for an annual occasion called the Policy Address. You have already seen this happen, on July 16 this year: the Chief Executive in his first question-and-answer session in the Legislative Council has already announced the implementation of five very important initiatives to address issues of major concern to the people, about elderly benefits, about housing, about youth hostels and so on. So this will continue between now and his Policy Address.

     As to the second question about my colleague, the Secretary for Development, he has already issued a statement, together with a statement from his wife, yesterday evening. I really have nothing to add to that, but I just want to appeal to you for your understanding and your confidence that, insofar as any regulatory action is concerned about the Buildings Ordinance, I hope you will agree that the Government has proven and fully demonstrated that we will act according to the law without any favouritism. So regardless of who is the owner, the Buildings Department and the relevant authority will do exactly the same in accordance with the law.

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

Ends/Thursday, August 2, 2012
Issued at HKT 20:04