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

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, and the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session after the 15th meeting of the Commission on Poverty today (November 29):

Reporter: Chief Executive, why do you think and how do you think policy in that upward mobility will help resolve the political impasses? Some lawmakers have criticised that you shouldn・t focus on these poverty issues and you should focus on political policies to help resolve the impasse and the stalemate? What do you think needs to be done?

Chief Executive: I heard that the lawmaker who made this point was actually the Honourable Mr Frederick Fung. Now you are nodding your head. The Honourable Frederick Fung did not take part in the second part of the Poverty Commission meeting just now, so he didn・t make his point at the Commission・s meeting. If he made his point at the Commission meeting, I have a sense that most of the Commission members will not agree with him. I think we are much better and more productive if Mr Fung had made that point at the meeting so that we can actually discuss it.  

     I think the answer to your question or Mr Fung・s question is that it was a Poverty Commission meeting. And the point has been made that one of the reasons behind discontent amongst the new generation in Hong Kong that has led to the occupy movement, I have to say that the understanding is that this is one of the reasons, I am not saying it is a major reason or minor reason, obviously the main cause is the disagreement on constitutional development, is a lack of upward mobility. Therefore, as a responsible government, we do not want to leave any stone unturned. And therefore the Poverty Commission, being the Poverty Commission, at the request of Government, will look at the question of youth mobility or the lack of it, and that・s what we are doing. This Commission is not a constitutional development commission, so it・s doing its job, looking at the question of upward mobility of the young people.

Reporter: The Chief Secretary, the Chief Secretary, do you share the belief that people making less than $14,000, $15,000 Hong Kong dollars a month would potentially constitute that obstacles to the political development in Hong Kong?

Moderator: You are asking the Chief Secretary?

Reporter: Yes, the Chief Secretary. Chief Secretary. Do you share the belief that people making less than $14,000 or $15,000 Hong Kong dollars may constitute an obstacle?

Chief Secretary for Administration: As the Chief Executive has said, this is the Poverty Commission. So we gather together this morning to look at the poverty situation in 2013, and that situation and all those statistics do point to the fact that the policies introduced by this term of the SAR Government to alleviate poverty in Hong Kong have produced some early results.

     Political participation is another matter. I think citizens of Hong Kong will all want to have more participation in our political system. And that is why we, the Central Government and the majority of people in Hong Kong, are so keen to see universal suffrage in the selection of the Chief Executive in 2017, and that is something that we would continue to work very hard at.

Chief Executive: Let me try to respond to this question. I am determined as the Chief Executive, and I have the power to give consent under the Basic Law the change of method of electing Chief Executive for the next term Government in 2017. I have made my decision known and so has the Central People・s Government. Our determination is very clear. We want universal suffrage election, :one-man, one-vote; in Hong Kong to elect the next Chief Executive in 2017. And that change would, for the first time to give every eligible voter in Hong Kong, we are talking about over 5 million people, the chance to vote for the first time in Hong Kong・s history, regardless of his or her level of income. And our determination is very clear and the fact that I take an active part in the work of the Poverty Commission, and we have been keeping close contact with members of the entire Poverty Commission, means that whatever is our method of electing the Chief Executive, whatever is our political system, we want to help the poor in Hong Kong and we are determined, we are determined to have universal suffrage election in 2017. I will repeat this point again. Whatever the level of income of voters come 2017, provided that we get two-third of the majority of LegCo to pass the Government・s proposal, everyone will have a vote.

     Thank you.

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

Ends/Saturday, November 29, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:17


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