CE calls for ra­tio­nal dis­cus­sions in LegCo

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By WILLA WU in Hong Kong willa@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

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 An­drew 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.

PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng yuet-ngor fields queries leg­is­la­tor dur­ing a ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion at the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil on Thursday which fol­lowed her Wed­nes­day Pol­icy Ad­dress.

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