Following is a transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Stephen Lam; the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam; and the Director of the Chief Executive's Office, Professor Gabriel Leung; at a media session at the ground floor of the Chief Executive's Office at Tamar today (September 30):
Chief Secretary for Administration: It is an honour to be nominated by the Chief Executive and to be appointed by the Central Government as Chief Secretary for Administration. This appointment involves tremendous responsibilities. I shall apply myself very fully in this new capacity in serving the people of Hong Kong and our community. In the next nine months, there are three key areas of work which I need to pursue.
Firstly, I will strive to ensure overall co-ordination and implementation of the Chief Executive's Policy Address with regard to a full range of economic, social and livelihood issues. Our overall objective is to ensure implementation of the Chief Executive's undertakings in his election manifesto and also various Policy Addresses.
Secondly, I shall focus on certain areas of work which have been placed under the Chief Secretary's responsibility, and these include West Kowloon development, the National 12th Five-Year Plan, Guangdong-Hong Kong co-operation, population policy and the Community Care Fund. In particular, through rolling forward the work of the Community Care Fund, I hope to focus on the needs of the grass-roots sectors in Hong Kong and to take forward practical measures to ease their livelihood difficulties.
Thirdly, I shall ensure that there is going to be a smooth transition between the third term and the fourth term of the HKSAR Government.
The HKSAR has been established for 14 years. In that time, as a community we have jointly experienced and gone through certain critical milestones, and these include a smooth transition in 1997, Hong Kong being hit by the Asian financial turmoil thereafter, the recovery of the Hong Kong economy, the constitutional reform debates, and the attainments of consensus on the 2012 constitutional reform package. All these critical developments demonstrate very clearly that Hong Kong community is a community which has self-confidence, which has ideals, and that the people of Hong Kong are practically minded and very capable. I shall continue to serve such a community wholeheartedly.
In about six months' time, the new Chief Executive will be elected. In the next five-year term, Hong Kong community will have to strive to work together to make universal suffrage for returning the Chief Executive in 2017 a reality. This is of critical importance to Hong Kong. It will also pave the way for attaining universal suffrage for the Legislative Council in 2020. Within the next nine months, the third-term HKSAR Government will work very hard to make the finest possible arrangements for several rounds of elections including the District Council election, the Chief Executive election and preparing for the Legislative Council election. All these are going to be important developments in paving the way for attaining universal suffrage and in bringing Hong Kong to a new level in implementing "One Country, Two Systems". Thank you very much.
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: First of all I'm most grateful to the Chief Executive and the Central Government for their confidence in me. It is my honour to be appointed as the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs. At the same time I fully understand that the task ahead will be very challenging, difficult and sensitive. I have reminded myself that what I'm taking up is not merely a post but the public expectations that go with it. In the days ahead, I will strive to earn the trust of the community. As what I have stated two years ago, I will serve the community with all my strength, my mind and my soul; and to do that with utmost humility.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to my team members in the CE's Office, who have worked with me so closely in the past two years. Together we have fought so many memorable battles. I will miss them. Let me share with you what I see as the highlights of my task in the remainder of this term.
First, to conduct the DC election, the Election Committee subsector elections and the CE election in accordance with the law and to prepare for the LegCo elections to be held in September next year. I will ensure that these elections will be held smoothly in an open, fair and honest manner.
Second, to discuss with the newly elected District Councils and various sectors of the community the way forward for abolishing the appointed seats of the District Councils.
Third, on the issue of filling the mid-term vacancies of the Legislative Council I will study the comments and suggestions received during the public consultation thoroughly and carefully, and to propose the way forward at an appropriate juncture.
Fourth, to take forward initiatives promoting the economic integration between Hong Kong and the Mainland and to carry out the follow-up actions required under the National 12th Five-Year Plan, CEPA, the Framework Agreement on Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation and the development of Qianhai, etc.
Fifth, to foster the mutual co-operation between Hong Kong and Taiwan in the areas of economic trade, culture and tourism.
Sixth, to secure passage of the bill on the further protection of personal data privacy within the current term of the LegCo.
These are no easy tasks, but I and my colleagues in the bureau will spare no efforts in ensuring their effective implementation. In the process we will work hard to earn the appreciation, understanding and support of the LegCo members and of the community. I also hope that my friends in the media will give me encouragement and support along the way. Thank you very much.
Director of the Chief Executive's Office: I am most honoured to take up appointment as the fifth Director of the Chief Executive's Office. I thank CE for entrusting me with this important portfolio. I take over this job from four distinguished predecessors and shall continue to carry out the duties of the office to the utmost of my abilities in best assisting CE to serve the public and fulfill the aspirations of the Hong Kong people. I know that I'll be joining a superb team at the CE's Office who will help me quickly come to grasp with the full spectrum of issues. Together we will be finalising preparations for the CE's Policy Address, ensuring that this administration continues working at our best and making every effort for a smooth transition to the next term of government. I look forward to listening intently and working ever more closely with the legislature, District Councils, political parties, civil societies, stakeholder groups of all stripes and above all, members of the general public.
Finally but not least, I'd like to thank Dr York Chow, Secretary for Food and Health, who has been a mentor and an inspiration. I must pay special tribute to colleagues at the bureau, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, the Government Laboratory, Department of Health and the Hospital Authority, who have without fail been first-class partners in serving the public, especially during emergencies, such as the melamine, Manila and Fukushima incidents and the human swine influenza pandemic. There will be challenges ahead, which I and my team at the CE's Office will endeavour to overcome in serving the public.
Chief Secretary for Administration: Well, ever since the days of being president of the Student Council I have had to co-ordinate and pull together different strands of views among the community that I serve. Likewise, within the Administration, there are always various views on how certain policies should be determined, how resources should be allocated, and how we secure the support of different political parties. And therefore it is necessary for us as an administration, and for me as Chief Secretary, to ensure that within the Administration we attain consensus on the way forward where there are sensitive and difficult issues, and likewise it is important for the Administration and the legislature to work together. I shall make my best endeavours to do so.
Reporter: You have less than a year in office......
Chief Secretary for Administration: Well, they say that one week is a long time in politics. Nine months is perhaps a matter of decades in political terms.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Friday, September 30, 2011
SCMA meets the media
The newly appointed Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, meets the media today (September 30).