The speeches and ceremonies are over and the new team is in place. Now, Hong Kong eagerly awaits action from its government. In his various public statements this year Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa has described in some detail the various problems that Hong Kong faces: the economic slowdown, the necessity of economic restructuring and the importance of improving our educational system, to name a few. We have been told that Hong Kong's problems cannot be solved in one or two years and that restructuring will be a long and arduous process. The Chief Executive has assured us that we need not be pessimistic. We would indeed be a little less pessimistic if we had some idea of what Mr Tung and his team intend to do about these pressing issues. It will be argued that the new ministers have barely stepped into their offices and that it would be unfair to expect detailed policies. But Mr Tung and many of the new ministers have been in power in some capacity for the past five years and many of these problems are not new. It would have been useful for the Chief Executive to have fleshed out some of the details, or at least given us some of the general idea of his thinking on how he intended to solve various issues. For example, at one point in his address he said Hong Kong's sizeable fiscal reserves would be prudently used. But the fiscal reserves are in danger of being depleted unless the budget deficit is bridged. How does the government intend to do that? Through new taxes, by reducing the size of government, or through a mixture of both? If the size of government is to be reduced, will this be through pay cuts or job cuts? What kind of government services will we lose? Mr Tung said his government will use every possible means to help those who are unemployed to re-enter the job market. How? By creating jobs (and in the process eating further into the reserves)? By retraining and re-education programmes (which have not been noticeably successful in reducing unemployment so far)? It is perhaps unrealistic to expect detailed answers to these questions in an inaugural address, but it would have been useful to have been given an indication of his broad thinking on this idea. The Chief Executive observed that new thinking and a new style of governance will have to be adopted to bring hope to Hong Kong. This is an admirable sentiment, but it will take more than well-meaning expressions of future intent to convince the public that this new government can in fact steer Hong Kong out of its current crisis. A day after his inauguration, Mr Tung met the press but once again did not go into any specifics. For example, when stating that he hoped to bring talented mainlanders into Hong Kong, Mr Tung did not say whether he had actually received permission from the mainland authorities to screen would-be mainland migrants. The sooner this government unveils specific policy initiatives, the better.