Cabinet needs to 'reach public'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 April, 2012, 12:00am


The city's next leader wants a team around him who can connect well with the public and spell out the government's policies clearly.

Members of his cabinet should be capable of communicating with residents effectively and canvassing support for policies, chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying said yesterday.

It is the first time Leung has spelled out the criteria for being in his top team since being elected on March 25. He had mentioned during the election campaign that senior officials should engage the public in policy formulation.

'There are basic requirements, including commitment, sharing of similar governing ideas and competency in fulfilling political duties - that would include an ability to communicate and interact with stakeholders in explaining policies and then canvass their support,' he said.

The criteria were in line with Premier Wen Jiabao's comment to Leung in Beijing last week that he should select senior officials who were competent, would uphold similar governing ideas and were committed to public service.

In a recent talk about his governing team, Leung had not mentioned popularity as a criterion. That prompted speculation that incumbent Chief Secretary Stephen Lam Sui-lung - the least popular of the current crop of senior officials, - might stay on.

Yesterday, Leung said he had not drawn up a list of people to fill the top posts yet, but that he had faced no difficulties in lining up candidates so far. On Thursday, Legislative Council president Tsang Yok-sing said that several serving principal officials had declined to serve a full five-year term under Leung.

Leung said there were talented people in the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong - the biggest Beijing-loyalist party - whom he could select to join his team.

'Certainly there are suitable talents [from the DAB]; there are political appointees serving in the current administration,' he said.

Leung was speaking after attending a two-hour, closed-door discussion with party members at a DAB retreat in Shenzhen; however, he said he did not discuss any appointments to his administration at the session.

DAB chairman Tam Yiu-chung also said they did not discuss any particular candidates.

Tam had earlier said he would recommend that party members join Leung's cabinet. The party recommended to its 147 Election Committee members that they vote for Leung in the election last month.

DAB lawmaker Chan Kam-lam said that the party would be willing to recommend talented candidates.

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung, the party's vice-chairman before joining the government, declined to say whether he would serve in the new administration.

Meanwhile, the pan-democratic camp said it had received an invitation to meet Leung on April 23 and the Liberal Party said Leung had invited them to meet him this week.