Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu addresses the media ahead of the Executive Council meeting, at Central Government Offices in Admiralty on Sept 5, 2023. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – The leader of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Tuesday attributed the city’s fast recovery from Super Typhoon Saola to “good synergy and team spirit” of various government departments and their concerted efforts with the members of the public.
The city issued typhoon signal No. 10 on Friday night for the first time in five years, with dozens of people injured, thousands of trees uprooted and some places inundated. The last time the highest typhoon alert was issued was in 2018 when the Typhoon Mangkhut hit the SAR.
Speaking ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, John Lee Ka-chiu said the new school academic year had a smooth start on Monday as the government was managed to minimize damages from the typhoon.
“With the team spirit and synergy, we managed to tackle the typhoon effectively,” he said, citing effective coordinated response led by the chief secretary for administration across all government departments as an example.
Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs Alice Mak Mei-kuen (left) leads government staff members in helping elderly persons who stayed in a temporary shelter during the height of Typhoon Saola to return to their elderly homes in Sha Tau Kok on Sept 2, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Government-wide mobilization was activated and staff members of different departments remained steadfast in their posts, he said, adding that the government had mobilized government staff in two consecutive days to work in the frontline and conduct relief work, said Lee, adding that the district services and care teams also participated in the relief work as they were familiar with the neighborhood and good at communicating with the public.
Government-wide mobilization was activated and staff members of different departments remained steadfast in their posts, he said, adding that the government had mobilized government staff in two consecutive days to work in the frontline and conduct relief work, said Lee
“In the whole cause, civil servants have become more familiar with the mechanism. They have learned from this experience and strived for perfection,” he said, praising the concerted efforts with the community and the members of the public for the city’s fast return to normalcy.
Early dissemination of information by the government and immediate reporting by the media had also played a key role in reducing the damages brought by the typhoon, he added.
Lee said he would ask the chief secretary to draw on this experience and keep improving the government’s work.
Civil services improvement
Asked about a streamlined mechanism of retiring officers in the public interest on grounds of persistent sub-standard performance announced by the Civil Service Bureau on Monday, the CE stressed that it is necessary to enhance overall public services and boost morale among civil servants, so that they could conduct up-to-standard work.
“For those with substandard performance, they will affect civil services at the end of the day. As far as the mechanism is concerned, we have an observation period and the civil sevants in question can lodge appeals. This can help enhance the efficiency in general,” he explained.
The current-term lawmakers had been discharging their duties and making good performance to maintain good communication with the government and give their views and suggestions on various policies to benefit the members of the public, Lee added.
Suggestions from the public
Regarding the resumption of receiving public petitions ahead of the ExCo meeting, Lee said there were numerous ways for the members of the public to express their opinions to the government, including writing letters and emails.
“I visit the community very often and conduct consultation sessions. Government officials also take the initiative to reach out to the public,” he said.
Residents could offer their suggestions anytime to the government and their suggestions would be handled appropriately, Lee added.
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