Why we can expect better chemistry from Carrie Lam's team

June 28, 2017 12:48
Incoming Chief Executive Carrie Lam can expect better cooperation and coordination among her cabinet members. Photo: Bloomberg

Incoming Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and her new cabinet are all set to rock and roll on Saturday.

In fact, her team responsible for education policy is not wasting any time and has started to hold meetings to prepare the policy initiatives for the sector that will be launched after July 1, as education tops her policy agenda.

Although Lam's “new” cabinet is actually dominated by old faces, people who are not expected to pull any surprise, that is not necessarily a bad thing.

The fact that almost all of her “new” bureau chiefs are either incumbents or seasoned civil servants who are perfectly familiar with their policy areas and how the government bureaucracy works means they can get into their stride and get down to business immediately after July 1, thereby greatly enhancing the efficiency of the new administration.

Besides, Lam can also be spared the trouble of trying to build chemistry within her cabinet since most of its members already know one another very well.

Therefore, it is widely expected that Lam's new government will perform better in terms of cooperation and coordination among the different bureaus than the previous one.

Even Law Chi-kwong, a former member of the Democratic Party and the only rookie in Lam's cabinet, has a lot of experience working with government officials by serving as key members of various official consultation bodies over the years.

As such, he is unlikely to have any major problem getting used to his new working environment and getting along with his teammate.

Likewise, many also expect better cooperation and coordination between the new Executive Council (Exco) and the incoming government than during CY Leung's era.

When Leung appointed Lam Woon-kwong as his Exco convenor five years ago, many had doubts whether they could really cooperate well or even speak the same language because the two didn't know each other well.

In comparison, the new Exco convenor, Bernard Charnwut Chan, was not only Carrie Lam's campaign manager during the CE election, but is also her long-time buddy. They have absolute mutual trust and can see eye to eye on many key issues.

Still, it remains to be seen whether Carrie Lam and her new governing team can live up to our expectations after July 1.

There is at least one thing we can be sure of for now: the fact that there isn't any “ultra-leftist” on her team will definitely work in favor of facilitating harmony in society.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 27

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Columnist of Hong Kong Economic Journal.