A pan-democrat group is organising a rally next week to protest Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s maiden policy address, which it says lacks commitment on key livelihood issues.
Rally organiser the Civil Human Rights Front said on Monday they expected about 5,000 people to attend Sunday’s march from Causeway Bay to the government headquarters at Tamar in Admiralty.
The group is upset Leung did not roll out plans for retirement protection and failed to increase the annual construction of public housing flats to the number he had previously pledged. The group was also disappointed Leung had not introduced a timetable for universal suffrage.
Leung, who took office in July, delivered his first policy blueprint to the Legislative Council last Wednesday.
Leung’s blueprint included plans to increase the city’s land supply and build 100,000 public housing flats a year for the five years from 2018, in an effort to help bring soaring property prices down to more affordable levels for local citizens.
But critics say the number of public flats for the coming five years would remain at 75,000 and this would do little to help shorten the queue for public housing.
Leung also faces criticism for only setting up committees to study what to do, instead of actually delivering concrete plans, on some basic livelihood issues, such as retirement protection and standard work hours.
Pan-democrats also vowed on Monday to vote down a motion of thanks on the policy address in the legislature as concern groups called for a march against the “cheating” speech on Sunday.
Lawmakers from the Labour Party, Democratic Party, Civic Party, Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood and the League of Social Democrats say they will oppose the motion when it is put to the vote on January 30.
Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan criticised Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s address as a “cheating speech”.
“Leung did not put a stroke on our concerned issues, including the legislation on standard working hours, consultation on sexual orientation discrimination and an annual review of the minimum wag,” Lee said. “Instead he only splashed out with a rhetorical speech.”
Democratic Party vice-chairman Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong said the party would vote against the motion because Leung had failed to honour his election promises.
“Leung’s policy lacks credibility, vision and policy initiatives,” Tsoi said. “He did not address issues laid out in his election platform including a long-term housing policy, a retirement scheme and constitutional reform. He only devised delaying tactics to divert public attention, like setting up a dozen committees,” Tsoi said.
If the motion fails, it will mark the nine time since the handover that lawmakers have refused to thank the chief executive for the policy address.
The motion must secure a simple majority in both the functional and geographical constituencies to pass.
Meanwhile 16 co-organisers from 11 groups have called a march with the theme “no cheating policy address” on Sunday.
The groups have notified the police that 5,000 protesters will march from East Point Road in Causeway Bay to government headquarters in Admiralty at 3pm.
Convenor Icarus Wong Ho-yin gave Leung a zero mark for his maiden address.
“We are very dissatisfied with Leung’s performance. We urge the Hong Kong people to protest against his hollow blueprint and demand Leung’s resignation,” Wong said.
Law Pui-shan, policy research officer of the Hong Kong Catholic Commission for Labour Affairs, complained that Leung had not extended paternity leave from the civil service to the private sector.
“Employees in the private sector cannot enjoy the same benefits as other civil servants do.”Law said.