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Donald Tsang

Tsang vows new tactic to tackle home woes

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 October, 2011, 12:00am

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Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen yesterday promised to roll out 'unconventional' policies to resolve housing problems in Wednesday's policy address, the last of his tenure and one that could define his legacy.

Writing on Facebook, Tsang (pictured) said that his address would be longer than usual as it would contain short-term relief measures, and longer-term policies to address the housing woes, a source of much public discontent against his administration.

He described the measures as 'breaking from tradition', but did not divulge any details.

He also promised to tackle problems surrounding the ageing population and the wealth gap. 'I have had different feelings during the preparation of the six policy addresses I have written. What has not changed is my trust in Hong Kong people.

'This is going to be my last policy address. This is a rare opportunity for me to sum up my 45-year career in public service, and I hope to share my observations, especially as Hong Kong's leader for seven years, with Hongkongers.'

Political parties and non-governmental organisations - such as the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, the Society for Community Organisation and the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions - took to the streets yesterday to voice their fears over high housing costs, inflation, poverty and the ageing population.

They called on the government to resume the Home Ownership Scheme with an announcement in Tsang's swansong policy address.

Meanwhile, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, labour and welfare secretary, said improving the elderly population's quality of life and relieving poverty would be among the highlights of Tsang's address.