About 1,000 people took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday to protest against the city leader’s policy speech, which they said offered nothing new on tackling a housing crisis and poverty. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying pledged, among other things, to increase housing supply in the densely populated city and tackle poverty in his January policy address widely seen as an attempt to halt mass protests against his leadership. Protesters held up a colourful array of banners, some of which portrayed Leung as a vampire and Pinocchio. “Leung Chun-ying does not have the heart or the ability to solve the problems for the Hong Kong people,” said Icarus Wong, vice-convener of one of the protest organisers, Civil Human Rights Front. People were showing their “disappointment and anger” because his speech offered no new ideas on solving the housing crisis and tackling poverty, Wong said. Protesters also called for universal suffrage. Hong Kong maintains a semi-autonomous status but cannot choose its leader through the popular vote. Beijing has said the chief executive could be directly elected in 2017 at the earliest, with the legislature following by 2020. Leung, who was chosen by a 1,200-member election committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites, saw his approval rating plunge to a low of 31 per cent, according to an opinion poll released in January by the University of Hong Kong.