Date
11 December 2017
The government is seeking to bring in people in the 18 to 35 age group onto advisory committees, following a call by Chief Executive Carrie Lam (seen in this picture in center) to lure young talents. Photo: Reuters
The government is seeking to bring in people in the 18 to 35 age group onto advisory committees, following a call by Chief Executive Carrie Lam (seen in this picture in center) to lure young talents. Photo: Reuters

Skepticsm as govt invites young people to join advisory panels

The government will start accepting applications on Tuesday from people aged 18 to 35 who want to serve on various advisory committees under the “Pilot Member Self-Recommendation Scheme”, Home Affairs Secretary Lau Kong-wah said on Sunday.

The committees encompass areas such as youth affairs, civic education, environmental protection and anti-narcotics programs, as well as technology and innovation.

Lau said the age-range for the plan will be broadened later to provide opportunities for more people.

The government claims the revamped Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Unit will also recruit young people on non-civil service contracts, so that they can gain experience in public administration.

Their monthly wages would start from HK$30,000 to HK$95,000 on a three-year contract, Apple Daily reports.

Chairperson of the Commission on Youth, Lau Ming-wai, said in an interview yesterday that the recruitment is targeted at academics and young people who have worked in think-tanks before.

The official is not worried at all that there will be little response to the job applications, as he points out that the wages and the working environment are both attractive.

In terms of the people’s livelihood, the government tends to pay more attention to young people, but on other pressing issues young people are not “dominating” in any way, he said.

The City Forum event has invited former student leader Lester Shum, among others, to discuss the topic of opportunities being provided to young people, reports HK01.com.

Shum thinks the government is just trying to buy off young people’s dignity and beliefs with high salaries. Given the “authoritarian” regime, the administration will never really share power with young people, he said.

Naomi Ho, an organizer with youth concern group Youth Policy Advocators, echoed Shum’s view, saying that Chief Executive Carrie Lam is only trying to pacify the young people with her “parenting” style.

If the youth think they can change the policies or if they feel they can make real social changes from being on the policy-making committee, they will be very disappointed, Ho said.

New People’s Party policy director Derek Yuen said young people should be brave and join the establishment.

He says that at present, it is more important to seize the opportunity to join the government and be more innovative in future policies rather than fighting against the regime.

Tang Fei, a member of the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, also says one should actively support the plan.

If nothing else, it will at least help us know whether the government has any political agenda behind the plan, he said.

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