The No 2 in the government hunkers down to clean railings at a wet market, the housing minister scrubs the floor in another market while the education chief wields a broom in Sai Kung's town centre.
The unusual sights captured the media spotlight yesterday at the start of a high-profile, citywide clean-up effort to spread the message of public hygiene under the banner of an official campaign, Hong Kong: Our Home.
Top administration officials rolled up their sleeves to get the ball rolling in the three-day exercise. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, decked out in a white polo shirt and black plastic gloves, squatted down with a towel to wipe market railings in Tai Po. She then handed cleaning kits to stallholders, including vendors of live poultry.
"Some say this is just a political show. But for the Our Home campaign and to raise public awareness of keeping clean, it is still worth doing," Lam said.
Her colleagues in the cabinet, Secretary for Transport and Housing Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung and Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim, cleaned the floor in a Sheung Shui market and swept the Sai Kung waterfront, respectively. More ministers will fan out today and tomorrow.
The eight-month Our Home drive aims to enhance a sense of belonging and solidarity in residents, and promote "positive energy". The clean-up exercise falls under one of four themes in the campaign - Fresh Hong Kong - through which people will be encouraged to cut waste and polluting emissions.
The other themes are Hip Hong Kong, Vibrant Hong Kong and Caring Hong Kong.