Lam proposes measures to improve ties
During her first questionand-answer session at the Legislative Council, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced four measures to improve the fractured relationship between the city’s administration and legislature.
The measures included moving the CE’s annual policy address to the earlier date, in October — at the first meeting of the next session of the legislature. Lam hopes this could help facilitate discussions in LegCo.
Her predecessor Leung Chun-ying rescheduled the address after taking office in 2012 — from October to January. The change was to have “more time to gather views from lawmakers”. Lam hopes changing the time will help lawmakers focus more on policy discussions.
The new leader said she wanted to establish a mechanism for regular communication with different political parties and groups.
Lam also announced she would be present at LegCo more frequently to respond to lawmakers’ queries. She has left details of the arrangements to LegCo.
As a common practice, CEs attend Q&A sessions about four times a year.
Lam also pledged that not only her — but members of her administration — will attend more LegCo meetings.
Lam’s announcements generally received support among lawmakers. Chairwoman of the city’s biggest party — the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) — Starry Lee Wai-king praised Lam for attaching vital importance to the relationship with LegCo.
Noting that this was very first LegCo chamber meeting after Lam’s inauguration, she felt the CE had shown respect to the legislature. This could be a “good start” for the administrative-legislative relationship in the next five years, Lee ventured.
Legislator Ma Fung-kwok echoed Lee’s view. Ma welcomed Lam’s willingness to attending more Q&A sessions. He said it would be beneficial if the CE had one or two more Q&A sessions each year.
Lam also received some appreciation from the “pandemocratic” camp. Unlike the case with her predecessor, most pan-democrats stood up when Lam entered and left the chamber.
Political analyst Lau Siu-kai said Wednesday had been a good start. It was due to the government’s goodwill but also due to efforts by some “pan-democrats’’. They had been able to have some of their requests acknowledged by the Hong Kong and central governments, he explained. Such mutual respect could help the city address social issues, ventured Lau.
Lau, vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, said the next one or two years would probably see less conflict because there are no major political issues to resolve.
However, “pan-democrats” are still likely to exploit any potential mistakes by the government for political advantage. Therefore, Lau said the government needed to avoid scandals by individual departments or officials.