Hoping for new, well-behaved era in Hong Kong’s legislature

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016, 4:34pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016, 10:26pm

Since the government’s political reform proposals were rejected by the pan-democratic camp last year, many of us have been wondering as to the best way forward for Hong Kong’s continued political and social stability, as well as economic development and prosperity, under the Basic Law and “one country, two systems” principle.

President Xi Jinping (習近平) met with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on November 20 at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Lima, Peru.

China Daily reported that the president told the chief executive Beijing hoped the SAR government would press ahead with building a “broad social consensus to promote economic development, improve people’s quality of life, safeguard national unity, and maintain social and economic stability in Hong Kong”.

A wide cross-section of Hong Kong people hope the previous disorderly behaviour in the Legislative Council will be replaced by a more efficient flow of business, leading to an improved public image of our legislature. At the various Legco committee, sub-committee and panel meetings taking place, many legislators, including new ones, are speaking succinctly, on livelihood and other issues, which is much to their credit.

In the coming weeks, we could see other candidates throwing their hat into the ring to seek election in March to become Hong Kong’s chief executive for a five-year term.

At the same time, it will be imperative for the current administration to work closely with the legislature to expeditiously and effectively tackle all outstanding government agenda, by eliminating blatant filibustering and other obstruction-type tactics coming from errant lawmakers.

The great majority of Hong Kong people are deeply concerned about livelihood issues, such as more affordable public housing, poverty reduction and the introduction of a 15-year free education plan. They also want improved elderly care and old-age protection, better health-care services and a brighter future for our younger generation, by way of better education leading to higher-paying jobs.

Hongkongers hope the chief executive’s policy address next month and the financial secretary’s budget will meet their expectations for a better quality of life for all.

In implementing the five-point approach, which President Xi disclosed to the chief executive in Lima, the Hong Kong government will be enhancing mutual understanding and closer cooperation between mainland and Hong Kong residents, under the Basic Law and the “one country, two systems” framework. This framework is continuously adapting to whatever new challenges and changes that may arise.

Hilton Cheong-Leen, To Kwa Wan