Constrained by a budget deficit, uncertainty in the global economy and only a short time left in his term, Tung Chee-hwa's fifth blueprint was doomed to be lacklustre and free of controversy. The number of temporary jobs to be created and the amount of funds designated for tax relief are modest - and largely expected. They are set to disappoint those who had proposed a bolder spending plan and more generous handouts. Sensitive issues surrounding the creation of a ministerial political system, such as the relationship with Legco and salaries, were not tackled. Not surprisingly, Mr Tung deferred a decision until the second chief executive's term in July. Fearful of greater social division in times of economic trouble, the Chief Executive and his top aides avoided measures heavily tilted towards a particular group, such as those suffering from negative assets. Besides the huge financial liabilities they would create, direct government subsidies to homeowners could extend a worrying trend of reliance on the Government and lengthen the debate on how funds should be spent. Mr Tung did demonstrate his willingness for a more active and responsive leadership to lift the public mood, which has been affected by the economic malaise. Interim budgetary measures were also essential in his fifth address to sweeten the bitter feelings of a wide cross-section of the community. He was faced with showing that his visionary plans for Hong Kong had not been compromised by short-term needs. By delivering some immediate relief to the priority areas of education and infrastructure, Mr Tung hopes to achieve both a feel-good sentiment in the short term and more long-term confidence. Though short on major policy initiatives, Mr Tung was keen to reaffirm his commitment to education and care for the poor and elderly. These issues are close to the heart of those who support the need to push through his SAR policy agenda. In his concluding remarks, intonated with a call on the people to act, he appealed for groups, entrepreneurs, educationists, parents and young people to excel in education. 'In the face of our current economic difficulties, the most reliable source of strength is ourselves - the people of Hong Kong,' he said. The message of 'getting to the people' also underpinned a government television campaign that began yesterday. Images of Mr Tung talking to children, meeting entrepreneurs and playing ping-pong were juxtaposed with those of a caring leader close to the people. On a linked theme - accountability - he gave further details of a ministerial system and emphasised the principle of small government. Much will be expected from a new form of governance in which all the people of Hong Kong can participate.