Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen yesterday urged the city's fathers to spend more time with their children.
Speaking to mark Father's Day tomorrow, the father of two said his father, the late Tsang Wan, had been strict with him and his four brothers and sisters. It was probably because of his job, Mr Tsang said - the senior Tsang was a policeman.
But Mr Tsang said he knew his father loved them very much. 'I hope parents nowadays can value the time they are with their children ... The best moments I can remember about my father are not getting luxury or expensive gifts, but the time we spent together reading my journal,' he said.
His father used to ask him to write down his feelings about the things and people he came across in daily life. And once a week his father would read the journal with him and discuss the issues - and his writing skills.
'I also hope children can appreciate the care of their parents,' Mr Tsang said. 'You might think they sound garrulous, and you might think the soup they make tastes bad, but these are the very things that demonstrate their love.'
Mr Tsang's views were echoed by a children's welfare group yesterday.
The Boys and Girls Clubs' Association of Hong Kong urged employers to establish 'family-friendly' working environments to allow parents more time to be with their children.
In a poll of 929 young people, released yesterday by the association, 52 per cent said their fathers were 'very busy, with no leisure time' or 'fairly busy, with little leisure time'. Slightly more than half said their fathers used their spare time 'sleeping at home'.
About 22.5 per cent said their fathers spent one to five hours a week with them, and 5.4 per cent said they spent less than an hour a week together.