A top-level commission headed by Tung Chee-hwa to formulate long-term development strategy should not just focus on the economy, a prominent sociologist says. Professor Lau Siu-kai, of the Chinese University, said the Strategic Development Commission should also study the overall political and social environment and the relationship between the people and the Government. A government spokesman last month listed seven areas the commission would study. They are: world trends and the effect of such trends on Hong Kong's economy; human resources; education; housing; land supply; the environment and relations with the mainland. Head of the Central Policy Unit, Gordon Siu Kwing-chue, whose office acts as the commission's administration, has said he has no idea whether it will discuss future democratic developments. Professor Lau said the commission should launch a study on the long-term development of the SAR. He said it should not try to act on its own but instead mobilise the community for discussion on the building of a 'consensus society'. The Government should understand that its role in economic development should be limited to areas such as infrastructure and formulation of policy to bring about economic growth, he added. 'Ultimately, it has to leave it to the market. We should not expect too much from the Government.' Professor Lau said the commission had to take into account the growing demands on the Government and the political system. 'It has become questionable as to whether the Government will be able to govern in the face of the many demands from society,' Professor Lau said. 'The Government can no longer adopt coercive tactics,' he said. Faced with a slow-down in economic growth and growing dissatisfaction from various sectors of society, Professor Lau said greater political skills were needed to tackle disagreements. He accused Mr Tung of side-stepping political disputes. The Government did not take the initiative to win support from the media and public by intervening, he explained. 'As problems begin to emerge one after another, the Government will become passive if it fails to respond to the challenges,' he added.