On 1 July, Hong Kong entered a new era under Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (林鄭月娥), who will lead a new cabinet for the next fi ve years. Most of the ministers are familiar faces, whom Lam described as “passionate, capable and committed”. What challenges will these government face?
The cabinet at a glance
The new government must work as a team to build a harmonious and flourishing society and fulfil the public’s expectations. But some citizens are sceptical of Carrie Lam and her team and need some convincing first.
WHEN Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was elected to be Hong Kong’s fourth chief executive in March, many citizens had had high hopes that the city could change for the better.
As the chief executive – the head of the Hong Kong SAR – Lam holds the ultimate responsibility of ensuring the policies are sound and accountable. On behalf of the government, she also acts as a bridge between Hong Kong and other governments, including mainland China, to discuss and cooperate on regional and international affairs. From 2017 till 2022, Lam will work with a team of professional and veteran top officials – a cabinet that is commonly referred to as ‘Three Secretariats and 13 Bureaus’ (三司十三局) – to carry out her work and administration.
Apart from these general duties, Lam also needs to tackle current situations and predict future challenges in Hong Kong, ranging from constitutional matters to housing and educational affairs. More importantly, she has to restore citizens’ confidence in the government.
Constitution – Hong Kong-Mainland conflicts
– Curbing the advocacy of Hong Kong independence
• Many localists have put forward the idea of Hong Kong independence in recent years
• In July, President Xi Jinping (習近平) insisted on keeping the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ and objected to any talk of Hong Kong independence
– Putting the controversial Article 23 of Basic Law into practise
• As required by the Basic Law, Hong Kong must enact every article
• In 2003, half a million locals took to the streets, making the government scrap the plan to enact Article 23
Housing – Expensive houses
– Increasing housing supply, especially for the local firsttime homebuyers, by developing more land in the New Territories, etc
• Hong Kong has been ranked as the least affordable city to live in for seven years
• According to the property industry, the price of an
average flat in housing estates increased to over HK$11,300 per square foot earlier this year. Mini flats in a new private housing estate even sold for HK$3.3 million – HK$18,000 per square foot
Education – Reducing students’ stress
– Abolishing the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA)
• Last year, stressed parents and students took to the streets to protest against the high-pressure drilling for TSA
• Later, Eddie Ng (吳克儉), the former Secretary for Education, proposed the Basic Competency Assessment (BCA) to replace the TSA this May.
Opposition from TSA concern groups persisted
• After Lam’s election, she pledged to cancel the TSA and introduce the BCA
– Increasing the education budget by HK$5 billion more every year
– Including national education in schools
Forming a cabinet
NO single person can shoulder every burden. Thus, from 2017 till 2022, Lam will work with a team of experienced top officials
– a cabinet that is commonly referred as ‘Three Secretariats and 13 Bureaus’ (三司十三局) – to make policy decisions in her administration.
1. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor 林鄭月娥, Chief Executive 行政長官
2. Matthew Cheung Kin-chung 張建宗,Chief Secretary for Administration 政務司司長
3. Paul Chan Mo-po陳茂波, Financial Secretary 財政司司長
4. Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung 袁國強, Secretary for Justice 律政司司長
5. Patrick Nip Tak-kuen 聶德權, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs 政制及內地事務局局長
6. Joshua Law Chi-kong羅智光, Secretary for the Civil Service 公務員事務局局長
7. Kevin Yeung Yun-hung 楊潤雄, Secretary for Education 教育局局長
8. Wong Kam-sing黃錦星, Secretary for the Environment 環境局局長
9. Lau Kong-wah 劉江華,Secretary for Home Affairs 民政事務局局長
10. Law Chi-kwong 羅致光, Secretary for Labour and Welfare 勞工及福利局局長
11. John Lee Ka-chiu 李家超, Secretary for Security 保安局局長
12. Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung 楊偉雄, Secretary for Innovation and Technology 創新及科技局局長
13. Sophia Chan Siu-chee陳肇始, Secretary for Food and Health 食物及衛生局局長
14. Michael Wong Wai-lun 黃偉綸, Secretary for Development 發展局局長
15. James Lau劉怡翔, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury 財經事務及庫務局局長
16. Edward Yau Tang-wah 邱騰華,Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development 商務及經濟發展局局長
18. Frank Chan Fan 陳帆, Secretary for Transport and Housing 運輸及房屋局局長