Ip vows to be more proac­tive on econ­omy

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By LUIS LIU in Hong Kong luis­liu@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive elec­tion con­tender Regina Ip Lau Sukyee cau­tioned on Fri­day that the Hong Kong government should take a more proac­tive stand on fis­cal and eco­nomic poli­cies.

She made the re­mark af­ter an­nounc­ing her elec­tion man­i­festo on Thurs­day.

Blast­ing the SAR government’s cur­rent fis­cal pol­icy of be­ing “con­ser­va­tive”, Ip said the city needs to ad­just its pol­icy in ac­cor­dance with the eco­nomic mo­men­tum.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ba­sic Law, the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion shall fol­low the prin­ci­ple of keep­ing the expenditure within the lim­its of rev­enues in draw­ing up its bud­get, and strive to achieve a fis­cal balance, avoid Colourscape deficits and keep the bud­get com­men­su­rate with the growth rate of its GDP.

Ip said who­ever gov­erns Hong Kong should com­pre­hend that avoid­ing deficits does not nec­es­sar­ily mean the city must never bor­row money. She said she will use the city’s re­serve to solve some of Hong Kong’s deep-rooted is­sues if elected, in­stead of of­fer­ing one-off re­lief mea­sures in every bud­get.

Mean­while, in­di­cat­ing an in­clu­sive ap­proach, Ip said she will se­lect peo­ple from a wide po­lit­i­cal spec­trum for her cabi­net if elected.

Cur­rently, Hong Kong’s op­po­si­tion acts with a rad­i­cal ap­proach, Ip said. She wel­comed “loyal op­po­si­tion”, which pays al­le­giance to the SAR and up­holds the Ba­sic Law, to join the government.

By tak­ing this step, Ip hoped the op­po­si­tion camp could drop its un­co­op­er­a­tive be­hav­ior and rad­i­cal­ism and act more re­spon­si­bly in tack- ling so­cial is­sues.

Known as Hong Kong’s “Iron Lady”, Ip joined the city’s government in the 1970s and be­came the first woman to be ap­pointed as sec­re­tary for se­cu­rity, the post which heads the dis­ci­plinary ser­vice in Hong Kong.

Dur­ing her time in of­fice, Ip pro­moted the na­tional se­cu­rity leg­is­la­tion on Ar­ti­cle 23 of the Ba­sic Law in 2003. How­ever she faced a mas­sive protest and the government with­drew the pro­posed leg­is­la­tion. Ip re­signed from of­fice af­ter­ward, cit­ing per­sonal rea­sons.

In the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil elec­tion this Septem­ber, Ip was re-elected in the Hong Kong Is­land ge­o­graph­i­cal con­stituency. She was the law­maker from the con­stituency with the most votes — more than 60,000, ac­count­ing for 16 per­cent of the to­tal.

Who­ever gov­erns Hong Kong should com­pre­hend that avoid­ing deficits does not nec­es­sar­ily mean the city must never bor­row money.” Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive elec­tion con­tender

ROY LIU / CHINA DAILY

Stri­a­tion cre­ation

Visi­tors walk around an art in­stal­la­tion named dur­ing “Stick with Joy — The Mask­ing Tape Cre­ativ­ity Fair” at PMQ in Cen­tral on Fri­day. The ex­hi­bi­tion runs from Fri­day to Jan 4, 2017.

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