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2016 Policy Address by Chief Executive (12)

XII. District Administration and Governance

District Administration

248. The DC election was conducted last November.  From this term, all DC appointed seats have been abolished, and the number of DC elected seats has increased by 19 to 431.  The Government looks forward to fully co-operating with the DCs in their new term of office in serving the community.

249. Under the pilot scheme implemented in Sham Shui Po and Yuen Long, the District Management Committees chaired by District Officers were given the power to address certain management and environmental hygiene problems of public areas and the DCs would advise on the work priorities.  The scheme was completed in August last year with satisfactory results.  The Government suggests implementing the District-led Actions Scheme in all 18 districts to further take forward the concept of "addressing district issues at the local level and capitalising on local opportunities".  The District Officers of various districts will consult the new-term DCs, and the District Management Committees will decide on the specific details of the scheme, working together to address the issues requiring immediate attention in their districts.

250. Funding approval has been given to some of the 27 projects proposed by the 18 DCs under the Signature Project Scheme.  The Government hopes that funding approval will be granted by this Council for early implementation of the remaining projects so as to address district needs.

Law and Order

251. The fact that Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world is attributed to our disciplined services, which are strongly committed to their duties.  They deserve the public's support and collaboration.  Security is now an issue of global concern.  As a highly international and open city, Hong Kong must remain vigilant against potential dangers here and abroad.

252. The Government will conduct a comprehensive review of the strategy of handling non-refoulement claims, including a review of the Immigration Ordinance.  We will expedite screening of claims to address various acute problems such as illegal immigration and overstaying.

The Civil Service

253. I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our civil servants for their professionalism, dedication, full support and collaboration, which have facilitated effective governance in serving the community.

254. To establish and consolidate a new form of partnership with the civil service, all politically appointed officials under the accountability system and I maintain close liaison with various civil service organisations.  Regular visits to departments are also made by Secretaries of Departments and Directors of Bureaux to enhance communication.  These help us better understand the work and views of our frontline colleagues.  Suitable training will be provided for them to ensure that public services keep pace with the times.  In addition, the Government will proceed with the planning for a new Families Clinic and enhance the specialist dental service for civil service eligible persons.

XIII. Conclusion

255. Mr President, Honourable Members and fellow citizens, over the past year, in line with the concept of seeking change while maintaining overall stability, the current-term Government has continued to work with the community to improve Hong Kong's social and economic development.  Our concerted efforts have born fruits.  In the year ahead, to make the best use of the new opportunities arising from the 13th Five-Year Plan, the Belt and Road Initiative as well as innovation and technology, all of us must join forces to work for the short, medium and long-term development of Hong Kong.

256. Though highly developed, as an export-dependent small and open economy, Hong Kong is vulnerable to external changes.  We must therefore stay vigilant and take precautions to deal with fluctuations in the external environment.

257. In the coming year, the Government and the whole community will need to reach a consensus on a number of major labour relations issues and the direction of social security.  In the process, the Government and I will do our best to promote mutual understanding among all sectors and all walks of life.  I hope that the efforts we make will benefit all parties and enhance social harmony and stability.

258. The Government will continue to uphold Hong Kong's core values such as human rights, freedom, democracy, the rule of law and clean governance.  It will fully and faithfully implement the principles of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy in accordance with the Basic Law.

259. Hong Kong enjoys unique advantages in economic development.  We must have confidence, work hard and capitalise on the opportunities presented to us.  The theme of my Policy Address this year is "Innovate for the Economy Improve Livelihood Foster Harmony Share Prosperity".  As long as we stand united and seize each and every opportunity to implement various initiatives and proposals, we will have new and stronger impetus for economic growth, our people's living quality will continue to improve and the community will become more harmonious.  People from all walks of life will be able to share the fruits of prosperity.

260. Lastly, I wish to extend my gratitude to all politically appointed officials and our civil servants for their diligence and dedication.  My thanks also go to the Executive Council, this Council, statutory and advisory bodies as well as members of the public for all their support and co-operation.

261. Thank you.

Ends/Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Issued at HKT 13:20


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