Date
17 December 2017
There was much dissatisfaction among the people during the administration of former chief executive Tung Chee-wah. Photos: HKEJ, Symedialab
There was much dissatisfaction among the people during the administration of former chief executive Tung Chee-wah. Photos: HKEJ, Symedialab

Advisors can drag down Tung think tank, critics warn

Our Hong Kong Foundation, a think tank recently established by former Hong Kong leader Tung Che-hwa to come up with plans for the city’s long-term development, cannot offer fresh and creative ideas because most of its advisors are the same officials blamed for many of the failures of his administration, Apple Daily reported, citing remarks by critics and scholars.

A large number of Tung’s 88-member advisory team are also too old and may be out of sync with the needs and aspirations of the general public, the critics say.

The newspaper cited Arthur Li and Fanny Law, who served as education ministers under his administration and whose education policies proved mostly ill-conceived.

During Tung’s term, the report said, the mother language policy failed to achieve its goals while parents and students scrambled for places at direct-subsidy and international schools which used English as teaching medium.

There was also an oversupply of places for associate degree courses, while some schools faced closure for lack of students.  Performance assessment schemes also caused much anxiety among teachers.

While Li and Law were blamed for much of the chaos in the education sector during their time, the two are being tapped to “strategize on how to nurture talent required by Hong Kong’s new economy”, the newspaper said.

Tung’s administration was also plunged into controversies because of some of these officials. The report cited the case of Elsie Leung, who as justice secretary decided not to prosecute Sally Aw, chairwoman of the Sing Tao Group back in 1998, in a suspected corruption case.

Dr. Chung Kim-wah, director of the Centre for Social Policy Studies at the Polytechnic University, said the think tank’s list of advisers has a strong “Tung Chee-hwa flavor” to it, and is basically a pro-establishment camp.

“I do not see how this group of consultants could come up with creative and constructive policies,” Chung was quoted as saying.

“The core issues facing Hong Kong are that the political system here is not fair and is inclined to a certain group of people or sectors,” he said. “The young generation is demanding a level playing field.”

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EL/AC/CG

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