The Leung Chun-ying cabinet will get their hands dirty this weekend as they join a citywide clean-up effort as part of the government's new "Hong Kong: Our Home campaign".
Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the co-ordinator of the effort, said government ministers would join district councillors for three days of improving public hygiene, beginning on Friday.
Attending yesterday's launch ceremony, Lam said all 18 districts would be covered by the clean-up, which includes setting up temporary refuse collection points.
The weekend effort is part of a broader government campaign to "inject positive energy into society" through a series of events scheduled to run to the end of the year.
The administration hopes that with enthusiastic public participation the campaign can inspire young people, build community caring and cultural pride and foster environmental responsibility.
The clean-up activity is similar to one launched in 2003 to combat Sars, and comes amid growing fears over an outbreak of the deadly H9N7 bird flu affecting parts of the mainland.
The 2003 "Team Clean" campaign was also led by the then-chief secretary, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. But that campaign was eventually criticised as ineffective, with rubbish soon piling up across the city.
Lam dismissed suggestions the new effort was just for show, and aimed at pacifying government critics. She said one of the objectives was to unify the public.
"Despite the many challenges facing the new administration, Hong Kong still has a lot of … groups caring for society … that's a spirit we'd like to encourage."
The activities are listed at www.hkourhome.gov.hk and there are also YouTube videos.