From the colour of its cover to the range of initiatives it contains, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's first policy address of his second term could not be more different from his address last year. If the azure cover of last year's speech signified calmness and restraint, Mr Tsang's choice of glowing gold this year was aimed at exuding a feeling of vitality and progress. In stark contrast with his slim speech last year, which comprised just 76 paragraphs and contained few policy initiatives, the chief executive almost doubled the length of his presentation to 130 paragraphs, peppered with dozens of initiatives. The 'to-do' list runs so long it looks as if the city has stood still for the past decade. From country parks to youth drug abuse, small-class teaching to infrastructure projects, Mr Tsang was demonstrably eager to put a marker at the beginning of his five-year term. Making good his election campaign pledge to build a 'new Hong Kong', he was long in expanding that notion. He talked of 'new opportunities', a 'new era', 'new spirit', 'new Hongkongers', 'new miracle', 'new journey'. You name it, it was new. All this new-speak boils down to the goal of finding a tripartite consensus (among the government, enterprises and individuals) in society on their respective roles and responsibilities in striving for 'progressive development'. The government, Mr Tsang said, would promote democracy, good governance and sound policies. He urged entrepreneurs to shoulder more social responsibility. Individuals, he said, should also make an effort to boost their competitiveness. To Mr Tsang, a new social contract between the government, enterprises and citizens was needed for society to have 'more consensus, less controversy; more practical action, less empty talk; more cohesion, less division' and to embrace a golden decade. Based on this new notion, the government has done its part by returning wealth to society in good times, having imposed tax increases in 2003 to tackle ballooning deficits. In light of the massive surplus, the government can easily afford to restore salaries and profits taxes to their pre-2003 levels. The more difficult challenges that lie ahead - on issues such as the conflict between development and heritage, a minimum wage, competition policy and universal suffrage - will provide a reality check to the chief executive's high-sounding talk. The economy has improved significantly but the socio-political landscape faces underlying frictions and deep-seated contradictions. Mr Tsang no doubt holds high hopes of achieving a shining record. Constrained by a flawed political structure and confronted with drastic socio-economic changes, he will find that achieving his goals is easier said than done. Now that more promises have been made, the risk of failing to deliver has risen correspondingly.