The Hong Kong government published a work report on Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s first 100 days in office on Tuesday, a day before she delivered her maiden policy address.
In an online report listing a total of 78 work items and their progress, Lam clearly wants to stress that she has made efforts to enhance communications as she was urged to do after she won the March 26 chief executive election.
In a bid to improve the relationship between the executive and the legislative branches, Lam said she has adopted several measures, including organizing two rounds of sessions to meet with lawmakers from different political parties before and after assuming office and setting the date of her annual policy address at the commencement of the legislative session, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
She promises to attend one or two Legislative Council meetings a month to answer lawmakers’ questions, in addition to the four Question and Answer sessions in each legislative session in response to the suggestion of the Legco Committee on Rules of Procedure.
The Chief Executive also directs high-ranking officials to interact more with lawmakers, listen to their views attentively and lobby them personally, although she does not mention her previous pledge to build a constant communication mechanism.
Lam and her governing team, including secretaries of departments and directors of bureaus, have been reaching out extensively to various sectors of the community and listening to the views of people from all walks of life.
Together, they have conducted over 50 district visits and discussion sessions with District Council members since the new government began functioning on July 1, according to the work report.
Attaching importance to the people’s right to information and the reportorial function of mass media, Lam said she has attended 39 media sessions and 13 media interviews and gatherings with the media since she became the city’s leader, while secretaries of departments and directors of bureaus have attended more than 210 media sessions and over 170 media interviews and gatherings with the media.
Lam says she is open to allowing online-only mass news media to attend press events organized by the HKSAR government. The Information Services Department, as instructed by Lam, has introduced a mechanism for these media to attend such press events.
Meanwhile, a review of the role and functions of the Central Policy Unit has been completed. In recent years, the advisory body has been embroiled in controversies regarding how the government should exercise its power.
Preparation is underway for the recruitment of young people from different sectors to fill full-time contract positions in the re-organized unit to conduct policy research, coordinate work, and collectv iews from different sectors in the community, while a report on how to engage the public to help in youth development will be completed by the end of the year and form the basis for the establishment of an elevated Youth Development Commission.
In a separate development, a survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme showed that the people consider housing the most urgent issue facing the government.
A total of 1,005 respondents were interviewed by phone from Oct. 3 to 4 for the survey.
Ninety-four percent, in terms of absolute percentage of importance, said the chief executive should tackle the housing problem, close to “very important”, followed by medical policy (91 percent), social welfare (87 percent), education (86 percent) and political development (69 percent).
The survey also found that Lam’s popularity rating has increased by 3.2 points to 59.6 from mid-September.
As for the three department secretaries, Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung scored 53.9 points in support rating, higher than Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po’s 40.6 and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung’s 43.4.
Yuen saw his net popularity down to negative 9 points, the lowest since he became secretary of justice in 2012.
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