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Friday, July 15, 2016, 01:19

CE defends his government’s achievements

By Luis Liu
CE defends his government’s achievements
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying attends a question-and-answer session on Thursday in the Legislative Council. (Parker Zheng / China Daily )

HONG KONG - Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying defended the achievements of his administration over the past four years - from boosting housing supply, reining in property prices, to alleviating poverty, supporting the elderly and safeguarding the environment.

At his last question-and-answer session on Thursday in the Legislative Council before the legislature’s current term expires Friday night, Leung expressed the government’s keenness to listen to different views from the lawmakers. But he also stressed the importance of lawmakers being objective and pragmatic when giving suggestions to the government.

The administration has one year before the end of its term. In every remaining day in office, Leung said the government is committed to serving the community and laying a good foundation for the city’s long-term development.

He urged lawmakers and the public to examine the fourth-year work report on the current-term government, which was released on July 5 and accessible online, to monitor the government’s work and offer opinions to make the city a better place.

He cited stamp duties to cool the heated property market, a ban on mainland women giving birth in hospitals in the city, and the cap on Shenzhen residents to visit Hong Kong just once a week, as examples demonstrating government accountability to introduce policies that address pressing problems faced by the community.

Leung said the government will continue to listen to public opinions and lawmakers’ views to build consensus and mitigate social conflicts.

Lawmaker Chan Kam-lam, who is to retire from the legislature, acknowledged Leung's administration of the efforts in curbing housing prices. He said the CE had overcome obstacles and steadied housing supply, which is set to increase as the government planned.

Chan said the administration’s work in supporting innovation and technology transformation also deserved approval.

Leung welcomed lawmakers raising issues that deserve greater priority in policymaking in the near future, such as more support to the middle class and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Leung said the government considers helping the middle class - the backbone of society - a key policy for future attention.

Leung appealed to the lawmaker who brought up the question, Cheung Yu-yan from the Liberal Party, to offer more concrete suggestions regarding favorable policies to help SMEs, and the middle class, including young professionals.

Veteran political analyst Song Sio-chong said Leung’s administration had provided good policies and brought benefits to Hong Kong. But he said the public may be more inclined to remember controversial incidents.

In the wake of a deadly blaze at a mini-storage facility that claimed two firemen’s lives in June, Leung told LegCo the government will consider tightening fire safety regulations in industrial buildings during the next legislative term.

He said the government will seek to make having subdivided residential units in industrial buildings a criminal offense.

Mini-storage facilities and subdivided flats were found at two industrial buildings at Ngau Tau Kok and Cheung Sha Wan which were hit by two recent blazes.

“Hundreds of industrial buildings in Hong Kong were installed with no automatic sprinkler systems, making it extremely dangerous when a fire breaks out,” Leung stressed.

luisliu@chinadailyhk.com

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