Talking Points: What should Carrie Lam’s first priority be when she takes over as chief executive on July 1?

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Ginny Wong |

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What should chief rxecutive-elect Carrie Lam do first?

Christina Man, 15, Workers’ Children Secondary School

She’s got to fix our housing problem. Property prices have been rising so fast that many young and middle-class people can no longer afford to buy a flat. With rising property prices comes another problem: subdivided flats. People are now more likely to live in “cubicles” because they are much cheaper than renting a flat.

She should build more public housing and expand the home-ownership scheme. This will help ease people’s financial burden.

Stephanie Chan, 15, Marymount Secondary School

Carrie Lam’s main task is to unify a divided city. The government won’t be able to function properly if decision-making bodies can’t reach an agreement on important issues. Instead of arguing with each other, legislative councillors should come together and work towards developing Hong Kong.

Lam must ensure that she has the right people who can help run Hong Kong smoothly.

Jade MacKinley Herndon, 16, Kwok Tak Seng Catholic Secondary School

It’s a no brainer: the education system, of course. It puts so much pressure on students that some of them are having a very difficult time, both physically and mentally.

The new chief executive should look at ways to modify our current education system. It’s unfair that students have to face so many problems at such a young age.

Christina Ho Cheuk-lam, 16, Tung Chung Catholic School

Carrie Lam should allow free transportation for the elderly. It’s true that the government gives allowances for the city’s elderly people, but that is not enough. With free public transport, they would be able to go out more and enjoy life. It would make them very happy.

Margaret Chau Suet-ha, 16, Shatin Tsung Tsin Secondary School

Carrie Lam was Beijing’s favoured candidate in the chief executive election. That’s why a lot of democrats chose not to support her. Now, Lam must show that she is willing to uphold Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy. This would help her gain more support from the public. If the people don’t like her, she would find it difficult to implement her policies.

Marco Cheng, 16, SKH Tsoi Kung Po Secondary School

Hong Kong suffers from a lack of communication, so Carrie Lam’s first priority ought to be about getting government members to communicate with each other. Only then will we be able to solve problems like our lack of public housing, and trying to stabilise property prices, etc. Then, she ought to abolish the TSA – because teenagers are facing a lot of pressure and stress because of it.

Nicole Li ,17, Tung Chung Catholic School

I think Carrie Lam should look at the problems of housing and charge those who let out cage homes in Hong Kong. Carrie Lam ought to restrict how much an estate agent can set housing at, and reduce the housing tax at the same time. She should also increase the tax on tobacco – which would go some way to solving our financial problems.

Justin Ying, 15, Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School

Carrie Lam needs to try to connect with those that protested against her. That ought to be first on her list. There’s a big demonstration that’s thrown every July 1, and citizens join to voice their complaints against the government. If Lam turned up to listen to them on the day, she might end up learning something and discover a way in which to help her build a better Hong Kong. This would also help improve relations between the protesters and Lam.

Elvis Chan Yuk Fung, 16, SKH Tsoi Kung Po Secondary School

Her first priority should definitely be healing the city’s community spirit, which has been torn apart. I am really worried about the future of Hong Kong. If the city’s people keep arguing about things like whether we should enjoy universal suffrage, then we’ll never advance as a society, as no-one stands to benefit from the government just arguing. Carrie Lam ought to also educate Hongkongers in a nicer way than she does right now, which feels like she’s preaching to us like we’re children in kindergarten.

Karen Chan, 16, Tung Chung Catholic School

The first priority that Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor needs to focus on is relocating rubbish collection points away from the areas that people live in. Rubbish stinks, and the piles of rubbish that build up make buildings look and smell awful. My school has a waste collection building next door to it, and it can get pretty stinky. We have to close our windows and turn on the air con all the time.

Edited by Ginny Wong