Leung Chun-ying, also known as CY Leung, is the chief executive of Hong Kong. He was born in 1954 and assumed office on July 1, 2012. During the controversial 2012 chief executive election, underdog Leung unexpectedly beat Henry Tang, the early favourite to win, after Tang was discredited in a scandal over an illegal structure at his home.
Town planners fear C.Y. nullifying public vote
Fears public consultations ignored, after five big policy changes in 100 days by chief executive
Urban planners are concerned public consensus will be nullified after Leung Chun-ying's government swiftly changed at least five of the previous administration's policy decisions.
All the changes were made in the first 100 days of the chief executive's administration, but the latest reversal - which may see an increase in the number of flats in the Kai Tak redevelopment - raises the most concerns.
If an increase is approved on the density of flats, it would render void a lengthy public consultation conducted eight years ago, say town planners.
Vincent Ng Wing-shun, vice-president of the Institute of Urban Design and chairman of a task force monitoring the Kai Tak project under the Harbourfront Commission, said the consultation decided the city should have a less dense living environment.
"The last administration started to address public concerns over the quality of living by improving urban design - for example, controlling density and building heights. It is worrying that the new administration is only looking at quantity."
While the changes have made town planners fear the long- term interests of the public will be lost, a source close to the administration denied this, saying Leung's adjustments were in response to changing public views.
Before he officially took office in June, Leung's first change was announcing that he would ban mainland parents giving birth in the city. The former government had planned to develop healthcare services into an industry.
Leung then changed several housing policies, a key area of his election platform, dropping the rental element of the rent-or-buy My Home Purchase Plan. He rejected a method of calculating resale premiums under the Home Ownership Scheme and suggested upping the development density in new towns in northeastern New Territories and the Kai Tak project.
The idea of reviewing the Kai Tak redevelopment plan, proposed by Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po last month, sparked concerns among town planners. Possible amendments include increasing the density of residential and office developments.
Ng said the public consultation for the Kai Tak plan lasted more than two years and was hailed as a good example of a bottom-up consultation.
"Ignoring the public consensus would increase public distrust," he said.
Professor Lau Siu-kai, former head of the Central Policy Unit, said it was not a problem for the Leung administration to amend the policies introduced by the previous government, but said his team had to "explain clearly the rationale for the changes".
Political analyst Ma Ngok said overseas it was common for new governments to bring in reforms. "It tends to be less controversial [overseas] as the changes are stated clearly in their platforms and the leaders are empowered by the public to change."
Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the government should not amend policies without wide consensus.