'Thorny' cross-border issues resolved, says CY Leung in one-year report card
Chief executive lists achievements of his first year in office, but critics accuse him of taking undue credit while ignoring failings
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying listed his achievements over the past year in a 29-page report card yesterday - an unprecedented move that one observer said was aimed at dampening turnout for the July 1 rally.
Released on Leung's official website, the report emphasised initiatives in economic development, welfare, and housing and land supply.
Only two paragraphs were devoted to the constitutional system - neither mentioned the looming issue of political reform.
The report stressed that "several thorny issues" were addressed by the administration in a short period of time, including four involving mainland visitors: the influx of pregnant women; a shortage of baby milk formula; the fear prompted by a plan to issue multiple-entry permits to non-permanent Shenzhen residents who would be eligible to visit Hong Kong; and the threat of H7N9 bird flu.
In a meeting with the media yesterday, Leung was adamant that he would finish his five-year term and accomplish his policy objectives, amid speculation that he might not be able to hold onto the post with his popularity flagging. "I have absolutely no health problems," he said.
Leung said the government would take reference from different poll results.
"We have no assessment on the turnout [of the July 1 rally] but the public's concerns are largely with livelihood issues," he said.
"This year we might find fewer people complaining about the influx of pregnant mainland mothers."
Li Pang-kwong, director of the public governance programme at Lingnan University, said the report could be intended to cool down the temperature ahead of Monday's rally - but it may not have served its purpose.
"The report offers a checklist to review government policies comprehensively. But how the public reads it is another story," Li said.
Former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang was surprised the report offered no indications about how Leung intended to implement the promises he made when he was running for the top job.
"I think people will judge Leung's first year in office based on what he has said, what he has done and on what he has not said and not done," she said.
Civil Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah said Leung was taking "undeserving credit", while the Democratic Party's Sin Chung-kai said Leung had blamed the previous administration for all bad deeds and exaggerated the achievements of the current term.
"The report has no mention of his national education defeat," he said. "It also forgot to report that development chief Mak Chai-kwong was arrested, and two executive council members, Franklin Lam Fan-keung and Barry Cheung Chun-yuen, were forced to take leave or resign after graft scandals."
Unionist lawmaker Wong Kwok-hing praised the Leung administration for working hard in adverse circumstances.
A poll by the public opinion programme at the University of Hong Kong found that 60 per cent of respondents regarded livelihood issues as their primary concern, followed by 24 per cent for economic issues and 13 per cent for political issues.