Chief executive’s policy address 2017

Hong Kong problems that are ‘too difficult’? We took them on, CY Leung says

Emotional high point of chief executive’s farewell address came when he declared his commitment to city and what it has achieved through generations

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 January, 2017, 11:06pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 January, 2017, 11:50pm

In most jobs, there are in-trays and out-trays. But in the government there is also the “too difficult tray”, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in his farewell policy address, pointing out that he has not been afraid to dive into the hornet’s nest for policy breakthroughs.

“Our government picked some ‘too difficult’ items from the third tray, hoping to resolve them,” he said.

“We are trying our best not to leave difficult problems that have accumulated from the past for the next government.”

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With this opening, Leung read out his own report card, citing the achievements of his administration, and spelling out ideas he hoped to launch.

He remained mostly calm and detached in his speech. The only emotional note came at the end when he described Hong Kong as a “blessed land”.

“With my great affection for and commitment to this place, I shall continue to join hands with all seven million Hong Kong people to make contributions to Hong Kong and our country,” Leung declared, before leaving the chamber to a round of applause from the pro-establishment camp.

Leung, 62, chose photos of the cityscape along Victoria Harbour as theme images on the front and back covers of the printed version of his address, saying: “The view symbolises the achievements from the endeavours of generations of pragmatic and enterprising Hong Kong people.”

“Let us work with one heart and one vision to create a promising future,” he added.

The speech, spanning more than two hours, was Leung’s longest in his five-year tenure.

Wednesday’s meeting also marked the first time since 2010 that no lawmaker was expelled from the Legislative Council chamber during the chief executive’s annual speech.

League of Social Democrats’ “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, who was thrown out during Leung’s four previous addresses, did make a surprise request – before the chief executive began his speech – asking for the meeting to be adjourned.

Upon Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen’s rejection, Leung Kwok-hung left the chamber voluntarily, chanting: “Leung Chun-ying, liar!”

At the press conference that followed, Leung was asked repeatedly if he might run for the top job again in 2022, but he laughed off the suggestion.

He was also asked if there was anything he wanted to apologise to Hongkongers over. He cited “increasing housing supply”, saying that he wasn’t able to implement this as smoothly as he had wanted.