Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam fields reporters' questions during a press conference at the Central Government Offices, Tamar, Hong Kong, Oct 10, 2018. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor attended a radio program on Friday to answer questions from the public on her second Policy Address, which outlined more than 240 new initiatives, according to a government press release issued on Friday.
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Lam said her second Policy Address is important because it has to be very substantive and address long-standing problems.
Lam made clear the government attaches great importance to biodiversity and that conservation would come before development
To promote a more livable city, Lam announced a range of initiatives to ease traffic congestion in her policy blueprint, including redistributing traffic between the city’s three cross-harbor tunnels.
The Cross-Harbour Tunnel and the Eastern Harbour Crossing are owned by the government and the Western Harbour Crossing will be returned to the government in 2023.
“We have an option of doing nothing for the next five years. We have an option of trying to find a solution that will redistribute more evenly the cross-harbor tunnel traffic and we have really worked on it for over half a year, and now we have a solution.
“(This) means we have to raise the toll of the other two tunnels, Hung Hom and Eastern, and we have agreed in principle with the private company to lower the toll of the Western Harbour Crossing. That will have the effect of redistribution and resolve this traffic jam and congestion considerably,” said Lam.
The chief executive also eased some callers’ concerns about the environmental impact reclaiming land under the new Lantau Tomorrow Vision would have.
She made clear the government attaches great importance to biodiversity and that conservation would come before development.
For the protection of public health, Lam proposed on Wednesday a ban on the import, manufacture, sale, distribution and advertisement of e-cigarettes and new tobacco products.
Lam noted statistics indicate the trend of young people picking up the e-cigarette habit is very prevalent and the figures are quite serious.
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“So, for the sake of the health of the people, especially the young people, I decided that we should revert an earlier decision made in the last term of the government,” she said.
The chief executive not only attaches great importance to young people's health, but also their quality education. As the Quality Education Fund has clocked up to HK$8 billion, Lam said it is time to spend on helping schools carry out building improvement works.
On the issue of universal suffrage, Lam said the government will continue to strive ahead to find a way forward, in giving people one person, one vote to select the chief executive, as that is the special administrative region’s ultimate objective as stipulated in the Basic Law.
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