Hong Kong’s outgoing leader, Leung Chun-ying, patted himself on the back over his record in office, proclaiming that he and his team achieved several things in the past five years despite a heavy work load and various challenges.
In a work report unveiled on Tuesday, Leung boasted that Hong Kong outperformed other advanced economies during 2012-17, recording an average annual growth of 2.4 percent during the period.
Among other things, he said that public housing supply was stepped up under his watch and that his administration also managed to bring down the number of people living in poverty.
Other achievements included bringing an orderly end to the Occupy protests and controlling the Mongkok “riot”, he said in the report.
While listing out the so-called successes, Leung downplayed or failed to touch upon topics where the administration was found wanting or failed to make progress, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Among issues he didn’t bring up was the government’s failure on the political reforms front, its inability to rein in skyrocketing property prices and lack of progress on mandatory provident fund system reforms.
Leung told reporters before attending an Executive Council that he is proud of the work done over the past five years, and that he is grateful to members of his administration and the civil service.
As of end-March 2017, the projected supply of first-hand residential properties for the coming three to four years is about 96,000 units, which is 48 percent higher than the figure at the beginning of his term in 2012, Leung said in his work report.
He pointed out that the supply marks a record high since the first release of such quarterly statistics in September 2004.
However, the report made no mention of the sharp increases recorded in the local home prices and rent indexes, even as it highlighted various government efforts to rein in the property market and re-introduction of Home Ownership Scheme flats.
The report also failed to mention that the Leung administration was unable to meet its promise to lower the average waiting time for public housing units to three years or under.
As of the end of March, the average waiting time for public housing units was 4.6 years, with the number of applications standing at 276,000.
Price index for private residential properties has soared to 327.4 in April, up 59 percent from July 2012 when Leung assumed office. During the same period, rental index has gone up by 23 percent.
While the report boasted that the government rolled out the Long Term Housing Strategy (LTHS) in 2014, by adopting a “supply-led” principle to present a rolling ten-year housing supply target based on demand projection, it was silent on the administration’s failure to meet the supply target.
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