A day after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying rolled out his policy blueprint, he was busy defending his focus on economic integration with the mainland instead of immediate initiatives as members of the public and lawmakers grilled him on what was missing. Attending a radio phone-in show followed by a question-and-answer session in the Legislative Council yesterday, Leung insisted he was not abandoning unfulfilled election promises on issues such as labour and housing. Adding to his woes was the University of Hong Kong’s latest public opinion poll which gave him the lowest score of his tenure for Wednesday’s policy address. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was one of the few who defended Leung yesterday, saying the address was poorly rated because the public had not had enough time to digest it. “I fully agree with the chief executive that in order to alleviate poverty, help the elderly and the underprivileged, as well as work on housing and the environment, we need to improve the economy,” she said. She stressed the need for Hong Kong to capitalise on Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” economic strategy linking Eurasian countries along the ancient Silk Road. “If you look back at history, I don’t think any government has done so much within such a short period in terms of social security improvements,” Lam added. I’m fiercely against your re-election. Please do not seek re-election. A phone-in caller That view was in stark contrast to those expressed by callers and lawmakers, who chided Leung on issues ranging from human rights to poverty and education. During the radio show in the morning, a man who identified himself as Mr Chan was one of the two callers who asked Leung not to seek another term. “Before yesterday I liked it very much that you have another term. But after I read this report, I’m fiercely against your re-election. Please, do not seek re-election, ” he told Leung over the phone. The caller complained that owning a flat was still unaffordable for the middle class and he was disappointed that Leung would not lift mortgage tightening measures. Another caller complained that Leung’s housing plans were long-term goals which would take years to achieve, and questioned whether it implied he wanted to stay on as chief executive. Leung replied: “I am not considering re-election at the moment. I am now focusing my mind on implementing the policy address.” READ MORE: In response to critics, Hong Kong’s CY Leung vows to deliver on election promises After the programme, Leung attended a 90-minute meeting at the Legislative Council, during which lawmakers from both the pro-government and pan-democratic camps questioned whether he could deliver on his election promises. Government supporter-turned critic James Tien Pei-chun of the Liberal Party demanded answers about the disappearance of local bookseller Lee Bo, challenging Leung to visit Beijing to determine whether he had been illegally detained by mainland agents and taken across the border. “Hongkongers are worried whether the ‘one country, two systems’ policy has changed,” Tien said. But Leung sidestepped the challenge, replying instead: “I will do whatever is feasible and effective to solve this issue”. He also explained that the controversy was not mentioned in his policy speech as it was not the right forum for it. The Democratic Party’s Albert Ho Chun-yan said Leung should either get an answer from Beijing or resign. Tang Ka-piu from the Beijing-loyalist Federation of Trade Unions was dissatisfied at how “little” Leung had done to improve labour rights. Tang said: “We tolerated and were understanding in the past, but this year we are disappointed that the policy address ... only briefly touched on standard working hours. Are you confident that you will fulfil your pledges?” READ MORE: Is Hong Kong’s Leung Chun-ying a god of small promises? Leung said his administration “will seek to implement what was promised”. But in a reference to employee representatives’ recent boycott of talks on standard working hours, Leung countered: “It is difficult for any government to come up with a new measure ... if both sides insist on their stance.” New People’s Party vice-chairman Michael Tien Puk-sun was concerned about Leung’s education policy, pointing out that English was being neglected. Labour Party lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan asked if Leung would fulfil his election promise about “universal retirement protection”, but Leung argued that he had promised only “retirement protection, not retirement protection for all” in his manifesto. In an unexpected twist, lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung did not protest until the end of the session, marking the first time he was not expelled from a Legco meeting with the chief executive since he assumed office as a lawmaker 11 years ago.