Sustainable housing policy a priority for restructured government bureaus
As a former legislator, I wish to express my sincere hope that the chief executive-elect's reorganisation proposals can be decided upon before the end of the current legislative session.
If adopted, the proposals will in the long run bring great benefit to the livelihood and well-being of Hong Kong's seven million people.
My principal concern is the need for a sustainable housing policy for Hong Kong. We should strike a balance between the development of sufficient supply annually of public housing - both rental and for sale - and of sufficient supply of usable land for commercial, industrial, community, private residential, cultural and other development purposes.
I therefore support the restructuring of the Development Bureau and the Transport and Housing Bureau to be combined into a new Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau for the purposes of better co-ordination and more efficiency.
Recently at a trade luncheon, a lady sitting near me said she was in the IT industry. She said many small and medium-sized enterprises like hers supported the setting up of a Technology and Communications Bureau to co-ordinate and support the development of the growing number of SMEs in the technology and information industries.
As regards the proposed Culture Bureau, I believe that on balance it can play a constructive role in promoting local culture, in developing the cultural industries and in expediting completion of the various phases of the West Kowloon Cultural District plan.
I accept filibustering as a legitimate democratic practice which we in Hong Kong should respect and keep intact. However, it should not be taken to an extreme. This is a matter of general public concern which should be reviewed by the Legislative Council's Committee on Rules of Procedures at the earliest opportunity. Lawmakers have every right to raise questions and express doubts or objections to any of the chief executive-elect's reorganisation proposals.
At the same time, it would seem that public opinion in general favours Legco coming to a constructive decision on the reorganisation proposals before the end of the current Legco session. In the coming five-year term of the new administration, I would urge greater mutual understanding and respect, coupled with mutual accommodation and co-operation, between the executive and legislative branches of the Hong Kong SAR. This is the real challenge ahead if genuine democracy is to be achieved.
Hilton Cheong-Leen, To Kwa Wan