Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has rebuffed growing calls for an upper limit on the number of working hours each day, despite admitting that long work days are unhealthy. In his first Legislative Council question-and-answer session as Hong Kong's acting chief executive yesterday, he brushed aside lawmakers' concerns over the increasing prevalence working weeks of more than 70 hours. Legislator Leung Yiu-chung said an eight-hour working day would yield a better allocation of time for a healthier lifestyle. 'That means eight hours of work, eight hours of rest and eight hours of play,' Mr Leung said. Mr Tsang retorted: 'In more than 30 years, I have never experienced an eight-hour work day.' The public debate over maximum working hours and minimum wages has picked up considerably since Tung Chee-hwa cited ill health and long days for his resignation as chief executive last month. Mr Tung was known as 'Mr 7-11' for his exhausting work schedule. Mr Tsang said: 'I believe that no one should go without food, children should not be deprived of education, and people should have a roof over their heads. 'Anything contrary to this should not happen and is not acceptable. 'I hope that everyone will work happily, although I agree that it is not particularly healthy to work very long hours.' Mr Tsang added that Hong Kong could learn from overseas experiences. A total of 148 countries have laws relating to working hours. In February, the Labour Advisory Board met labour representatives - who have asked the government to consider setting a minimum wage of between $20 and $30 an hour - to discuss the impact of maximum working hours and a minimum wage on the economy and workers.