Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu speaks to the media ahead of an Executive Council meeting on Sept 26, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
HONG KONG – Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said on Tuesday that the city's authorities would accelerate investigation into a deadly industrial accident in West Kowloon that left two workers dead over the weekend.
Acting Chief Executive Eric Chan Kwok-ki tasked the police on Monday to conduct a criminal investigation, assisted by the Labour Department, Lee told the media ahead of a weekly Executive Council meeting.
Two construction workers were found dead on Sunday after inhaling toxic gas in a closed environment while working underground to repair pipelines in a construction site near Austin Road.
No matter how strict the laws and how clear the guidelines, we have to promote construction safety and make clear what responsibilities different stakeholders have and what roles they have to play.
John Lee Ka-chiu, Chief Executive
“I have expressed the importance of a speedy investigation to hold the perpetrators responsible,” he said, showing his concern about the tragedy.
Expressing his condolences to the two families affected, he said he had asked the Social Welfare Department to provide urgent support.
“We have to ensure legislations are effective. Industry practitioners and people-in-charge at construction sites are important to ensure construction safety. Everyone plays a part”
The CE also emphasized the importance of occupational health and safety culture by enhancing measures and awareness at industrial sites.
“No matter how strict the laws and how clear the guidelines, we have to promote construction safety and make clear what responsibilities different stakeholders have and what roles they have to play,” he said.
Lee also congratulated the Hong Kong team on their performance at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, vowing continuous support for the city’s athletes and sports development.
He said Hong Kong takes pride in the achievements of its athletes competing in Hangzhou. As of Tuesday, the Hong Kong team ranked the fourth equal on the medal tally, with a total of 14 medals – three gold, four silver and seven bronze.
On Monday alone, the city clinched seven medals, including a historic gold medal by swimming icon Siobhan Haughey in women’s 200m freestyle and two silvers in wushu, one silver and one bronze in rowing, one silver in swimming, and one bronze in fencing.
The city’s current budget for sports development is approximately HK$7.4 billion ($986 million), up by 42 percent compared with that of five years ago.
Sau Mau Ping tragedy
Stressing that the government attaches importance to caregivers, he said the authorities would work hard to support hidden cases that needed further support and encourage non-government organizations to provide more welfare assistance
Asked about another tragedy where two middle-aged men, who were said to be intellectually disabled, were found dead in a residential unit in Sau Mau Ping on Friday, the CE said an autopsy was being conducted and police would investigate the incident.
Stressing that the government attaches importance to caregivers, he said the authorities would work hard to support hidden cases that needed further support and encourage non-government organizations to provide more welfare assistance.
Speaking of the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday, the CE said the relevant departments have measures in place and will deploy more manpower to react swiftly in view of different situations.
“I hope both visitors and residents will participate during this festive period and will feel the vibrancy in the city.”
With a wave of festive activities and night events, he said the government would continue to adopt different ideas on other types of activities to spread the joy across the city.
On regulations of virtual assets investments, the CE reiterated the government’s stance that residents must invest through licensed platforms to protect their interests.
He also stressed the importance of investor education to allow investors to understand the investment products and the risks involved, saying that the government, authorities concerned and those engaged in this business should promote the education.
“But I must repeat, their interest will be best protected if they invest on platforms which have been licensed. That means these platforms will be properly regulated. There will be proper risk control and proper standards that they must fulfil,” Lee said.
“If investors choose to invest on platforms that are not licensed, they have to face their own risk. I advise them not to do so,” he added.
District Councils election
On the District Councils election scheduled for Dec 10, the authorities would make relevant details as soon as possible, Lee said, appealing the public to vote for the first DCs election since the improved electoral system came into effect.
Copyright 1995 - 2023. All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily. Without written authorization from China Daily, such content shall not be republished or used in any form.
HONG KONG NEWS