Tung Chee-hwa admitted to mistakes in pressing forward his reforms while boasting of his triumphs. Analysts viewed his approach as an attempt to save himself from falling approval ratings while consolidating his leadership. They generally approved of the Chief Executive's approach but remained cautious over whether he could achieve his objectives. Twenty-nine of the 128 sections of the Policy Address, Mr Tung's fourth, were devoted to 'reforms and initiatives', in which he summarised achievements in the past three years and what remained to be done. While boasting of his success in promoting home ownership, scrapping the two elected municipal councils and regulating the financial markets, Mr Tung admitted some of his reforms had not been 'prepared or implemented in the best possible way' and that the Government had not 'explained clearly enough the need for the reforms'. Independent political analyst Dr Joseph Cheng of City University said it was the right time for Mr Tung to review his work as he had passed the mid-point of his five-year term. He said Mr Tung needed to win more support, although he believed the Chief Executive was almost certain to secure Beijing's blessing for a second term. He added: 'A leader should give his people a long-term vision and tell them how they would be led to that destination.' Three years had passed and it was time for people to ask for him to deliver on previous promises. Professor Lau Siu-kai of the Chinese University said Mr Tung had attempted to answer his critics and remove diehard opposition by promising a more cautious approach to reforms. He had promised to learn from experience and pay greater attention to 'effective communication' and 'full consultation' and listen more carefully to dissenting voices. Referring to the controversial civil service reforms, Mr Tung pledged a slow-down, saying: 'We have not planned any major reform of the civil service other than those already announced.' He also promised to build mutual trust with civil servants. Professor Lau said Mr Tung had presented himself as a reasonable man and this would help his approval ratings. Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun also said Mr Tung's admission was a big improvement in his leadership. An official poll last month showed only 25 per cent of respondents were happy with the Tung administration. But Mr Tung said the reforms were necessary to make Hong Kong 'a major city of China and the most cosmopolitan city in Asia' and 'an ideal place in which to live and work'. 'I believe the majority of the people support the reforms which have been made with the best interests of the general public in mind,' he said. New pledges announced yesterday mainly focused on developing a knowledge-based economy and improving the environment, including: Promoting electronic commerce; Opening telecommunications and broadcasting markets; Considering electronic road pricing to discourage traffic; Promoting waste recycling. In his maiden policy speech in 1997, Mr Tung pushed for housing and education reforms. The 1998 address focused on fighting the recession, while last year's aimed to combat pollution.