Transcript of remarks by CE at media session (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at a media session joined by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, and the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, today (September 6):

Reporter: Mr Leung, have you actually solved the issue on legal definitions of the Hong Kong permanent residents? Have you actually solved it, and if not, how can you actually have this policy right now?

Chief Executive: Our legal colleagues in the two government departments have actually studied this issue. Yes, they have come up with advice that this policy is implementable.

Reporter: But that's not enough units. There's actually only 1,000.

Chief Executive: Let me just address this. As far as the number of units is concerned, as we said last Thursday, there will be 65,000 new units on the market in the next three to four years. On an annual average basis, this supply will double that of the last four years on average.

Reporter: Why are you allowing the market to set the prices? And academics are saying this actually won't help in the short term, so why is there a government policy that allows it? Why do you just allow the market to set the price?

Chief Executive: All government land lots are sold at market prices. The market determines a level of land values and property values.

Reporter: They are saying that it won't help in the short term. It won't help in the short term, academics are saying.

Chief Executive: Well, supply of housing takes time. We all wish that we could have a short-term solution, but we have short-term measures but also at the same time we need medium- and long-term policies as well.

Reporter: But they are not joining the committee and they are starting a students' class boycott. How can you respond to their demands?

Chief Executive: I think the key thing is for Government, either directly, or through the committee led by the Honourable Anna Wu, to listen to the views of people who have concerns about this subject. The key thing is not whether one should go ahead with this subject or not. The key thing is for us to explore the many, many possibilities between withdrawing the subject and going ahead with the subject. And as a matter of fact in the past 24 hours we have come across, and this has been widely reported in the media, proposals as to how we could improve on the subject. And all these proposals, I, myself, and my Government, will listen and listen carefully and with an open mind.

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

Ends/Thursday, September 6, 2012
Issued at HKT 22:07