Date
14 December 2017
Hong Kong's leader CY Leung (inset) confronted uncomfortable questions on issues such as parallel import traders during a radio phone-in program on Thursday. Photos: Bloomberg, HKEJ
Hong Kong's leader CY Leung (inset) confronted uncomfortable questions on issues such as parallel import traders during a radio phone-in program on Thursday. Photos: Bloomberg, HKEJ

Leung faces some grilling during radio phone-in

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying faced some tough questions from the public during a radio phone-in program Thursday following his policy address the previous day.

Among fifteen people who called into the radio program, five expressed dissatisfaction at Hong Kong-Mainland China conflicts, while others brought up issues such as parallel import trading activities and tourist policy, Ming Pao Daily News reported.

One caller asked why Leung sent his three children to the UK for studies, while encouraging Hong Kong parents to let their children take part in exchange activities in the mainland.

The same caller, a woman who lives in Kwai Chung, also said that many districts in Hong Kong are swamped with parallel import traders and solo visit scheme tourists, making the places no different from Shenzhen. “When will you stop selling Hong Kong out?” she asked Leung. 

In response, the chief executive said that he was aware of the many problems stemming from the parallel import traders, and that various governments departments are taking action.

In other comments, Leung defended the recommendations for more student exchange activities with mainland schools. Exchanges involving places that are close to Hong Kong will pose no problem, he said, while admitting that long-haul exchange tours could pose a burden in terms of teacher administration and transportation costs.

As for sending children to the West for education, if families can afford it, why not, he said.

A middle-class caller said his family income is between HK$40,000 and HK$65,000 a month. While being ineligible for subsidized housing, the family has to shoulder staggering rental payments, which are increasing by 15 percent every year, the person complained.

Another caller, using somewhat coarse language, asked Leung towards the end of the radio program as to how the Hong Kong leader intends to mend his image given that he is now being booed or being thrown eggs wherever he goes.

Leung said there are different sentiments within a community and that throwing of objects at leaders is happening in other cities in the world as well.

But he stressed that Hong Kong is a civilized society, and that he is willing to listen to suggestions to improve his public image.

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