Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor fields queries from legislators during a question and answer session at the Legislative Council on Thursday which followed her Wednesday Policy Address. (Parker Zheng / China Daily)
HONG KONG - A day after releasing her maiden Policy Address, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor appealed to the city’s legislature on Thursday for a “rational and pragmatic” approach in future policy deliberations.
Making the appeal during a question-and-answer session held in the Legislative Council, Lam said she was confident that consensus on a certain matter could be achieved through rational and pragmatic discussions. She referred to the HK$3.6 billion extra education funding which LegCo gave a green light to soon after she assumed office.
Lam also stressed the new governance style, which the current administration is adopting, will “aim beyond easy tasks and never shy away from difficulties” whenever it faces challenges.
She said the new government will not give up on tackling social problems, even controversial ones such as political reform. The government’s determination to solve problems will not change, even when facing criticism and attacks, Lam said.
Yet she emphasized the importance of cooperating with LegCo members on such issues through rational discussions.
Lam hoped lawmakers can continue the pragmatic attitude shown in the dealing with education funding.
The government is due to table a non-binding motion to LegCo late this month over the joint-checkpoint arrangement at the West Kowloon Station of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.
Lam dismissed claims that the arrangement jeopardizes the “one country, two systems” principle. She said the government had been “very responsible” on the matter as it sought to take the plan through LegCo before making any further moves.
Youth development is one of the highlights of Lam’s Policy Address. During the Q&A session, Lam said she hoped legislators would not give any messages to the city’s youth that certain goals could be achieved through illegal means, as the “end does not justify means”.
She was responding to questions from the opposition camp which sought her comment on some of the city’s student activists receiving jail sentences for their roles in violent demonstrations.
She added that as a devout Catholic, she prayed every day for Hong Kong’s young people. Lam said she hopes they will become “responsible citizens with a national identity and have a love for Hong Kong and a vision for the world”.
Lam also said she would assign Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong to follow issues on youth suicide, taking measures which would include organizing a summit to discuss the problem.
Lasting for about 95 minutes – five minutes longer than the scheduled period – Lam took questions from 19 legislators. LegCo President Leung Kwan-yuen said the Q&A section went well as all lawmakers who applied to ask questions had fulfilled their tasks.
Lam delivered her maiden Policy Address on Wednesday, focusing on improving the city’s livelihood through measures in housing, innovation and technology, as well as youth development.