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.
Leung shelves restructuring plan, lawmakers stage protest
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Wednesday shelved his controversial government restructuring plan for the time being, to give priority to pressing issues such as housing and poverty.
Leung announced the decision as he outlined his vision, policy direction and work priorities in his first policy speech to the 70 newly elected lawmakers in the Legislative Council.
He said the restructuring plan, if raised in Legco in the near future, would probably be the target of lawmakers’ delaying tactics, as it was earlier this year.
“This would waste our time and energy. Therefore I have decided I will not retable the restructuring plan in the short term, so we can focus our energy on other work,” he said.
His original plan would have created two new deputy positions – one each for the chief secretary and financial secretary – and two new policy bureaus to handle technology and culture.
Leung acknowledged that the existing structure was “not perfect” for him, but pledged to work with it for now.
“I have instructed all departments to enhance inter-department co-ordination and team spirit, to put forward policy to accommodate public needs,” he said.
In a one-hour speech, Leung highlighted housing policy as his priority for the coming year, saying he was determined to address the shortage of residential flats.
He said a basket of measures he has already announced were only a beginning, and his administration was working on more new measures to maintain a steady supply of flats for homebuyers.
“Over the past few months property prices and rentals have continued to rise to such an extent that they are now beyond people’s affordability,” said Leung.
“Tackling the housing problem is a top priority of the current term government,” he said.
Leung’s comments come after he laid out a multi-pronged housing plan in August including promises to bolster land supply, public rental units and subsidised housing, though analysts said he stopped short of tougher measures including raising stamp duties on quick resales to dampen speculation.
“In future, we will continue to implement timely initiatives to assist the grassroots with flat accommodation, help middle class families buy their own homes and promote the stable development of the property market. I and my team are committed to solving the housing problem,” he said.
Leung also stressed the need for Hong Kong to step up economic integration with the mainland. He said the city should not “close its door” to the fast-growing mainland economy.
Before Leung started his speech, the meeting was delayed about 10 minutes by pan-democrat legislators, who questioned why the chief executive refused to take any questions. Several maverick lawmakers also staged loud protest demonstrations.
While legislators stood up to greet Leung as he entered the chamber, People Power’s Albert Chan Wai-yip shouted: “Down with the Hong Kong communist regime! Get out Leung Chun-ying!”
Chan and two other People Power lawmakers, Wong Yuk-man and Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, then staged a walk-out in protest.
“Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung was expelled minutes later by Legco president Tsang Yok-sing. He had stood up, waived a portrait mocking the chief executive and shouted slogans: “I don’t listen to his [Leung Chun-ying’s] lies”.
Reuters contributed to this report