CMAB and HYAB continue to brief political parties on proposals to improve governance at district level (with photos)

     After the Government's announcement of the proposals on improving governance at the district level on May 2, the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Erick Tsang Kwok-wai, and the Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs, Miss Alice Mak, immediately commenced explanatory and publicity work for various sectors. The two Directors of Bureaux began to meet different political parties yesterday. They hosted briefing sessions today (May 9) for representatives of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong and the Liberal Party respectively to listen to their views and solicit their support.

     At the two briefing sessions today, Mr Tsang and Miss Mak emphasised the necessity and guiding principles of the objectives of the proposals on improving governance at the district level. They also explained details of the proposals, including the filling of the seats through multiple methods, so as to allow persons from different sectors who are patriotic and have an affection for Hong Kong to participate in the work of District Councils (DCs), and thus enhance the efficacy of district governance.

     They pointed out that aside from reforming DCs, there is also a need to strengthen the district governance structure in order to enhance the efficacy of district governance. In this connection, the Government will establish the Steering Committee on District Governance, which will be chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration, to take a leading role on the overall strategy, policies and measures of district governance; and the Task Force on District Governance to be chaired by the Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration will be repositioned to co-ordinate and direct the district work of various policy bureaux and departments. By establishing a senior leadership and working structure, the leadership and co-ordination of district work will be significantly enhanced.

     The two Directors of Bureaux also said that the Government is going full steam ahead to prepare the District Councils (Amendment) Bill 2023 and hopes to submit it to the Legislative Council (LegCo) for scrutiny as soon as possible. The Government targets to secure the LegCo's passage of the Bill before the summer recess of the LegCo this year so that the DC Ordinary Election can be held at the end of this year and the seventh-term DCs can take office on January 1 next year as scheduled.

     The attendees shared their views enthusiastically and provided many constructive suggestions. The two Directors of Bureaux also encouraged them to proactively brief various sectors of the community so as to deepen public understanding of the objectives and benefits of the proposals.

     Since the announcement of the proposals on improving governance at the district level, Mr Tsang and Miss Mak attended various radio and television programmes, briefing sessions and media interviews to brief the public, media, Hong Kong deputies to the National People's Congress, Hong Kong members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and different political parties respectively on the proposals. In addition, Government officials also visited street booths in various districts to appeal to the public to support the proposals.

Ends/Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Issued at HKT 19:52