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CE-elect's opening speech on the appointments of Principal Officials of fifth-term HKSAR Government

Following is the speech by the Chief Executive-elect, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the press conference on the appointments of Principal Officials for the fifth term of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government at the Conference Hall, Central Government Offices, Tamar, today (June 21):

Members of the media, Hong Kong citizens,

The Central People’s Government (CPG) announced this morning the appointment of the Principal Officials of the fifth-term Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. These 21 Principal Officials were nominated by me to the CPG in accordance with the Basic Law. I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to the CPG for its trust in and support for me and my governing team.

I believe that members of my governing team are not unfamiliar to many of you. Among the 16 politically accountable officials, six are Secretaries of Departments and Directors of Bureaux while four are Under Secretaries of the current-term Government and four are civil servants-turned-politically accountable officials, along with the incumbent Director of the Chief Executive’s Office, Mr Edward Yau, and Dr Law Chi-kwong, who will be joining the Hong Kong SAR Government. Among the five non-politically accountable Principal Officials, the Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Director of Audit, as well as the Commissioner of Police and the Director of Immigration who are civil servants, will be serving a second term. The Commissioner of Customs and Excise (designate), Mr Hermes Tang, will be joining as a new Principal Official and the first internally promoted Commissioner since 1999.

I have said during my electioneering that recruiting talents on merit is the guiding principle for forming my governing team. Each and every member of my team who is appointed today is passionate, capable, committed and prepared to serve the people of Hong Kong in accordance with the Basic Law with utmost sincerity and stamina. We are a practical team conversant with the operation of the Government and with rich administrative experience.

Though some will say that my governing team consists of familiar faces, I wish to say that they all agree with my new style of governance and support the idea that the Government should play more active roles, while officials on the fiscal side have no disagreement with my new philosophy of public finance management. Together, my team and I will strive to rebuild social harmony, enhance public confidence in the Government and ensure that the Government will better align its work with public aspirations.

Just as I have made it clear in my election slogan, my team and I will realise the goal of “people-oriented” governance through listening, caring and action. We hereby invite different sectors of the community to connect with us in promoting the economy, improving people’s livelihood and advancing democracy.

Faced with a changing environment, the whole politically accountable team and the civil service must have new thinking and adopt a new work culture. “Innovative”, “Interactive”, “Collaborative”, the words that you see on the backdrop, will be the motto guiding the work of my team and me. We should be bold and innovative in formulating policies and do away with the mentality of just adhere to convention. We should have a fresh perspective and adopt a new approach to respond to needs in a new environment and aspirations of the public and enterprises.

Interaction with the public will help make policies better connect with people. Frank discussions with Legislative Council members and stakeholders of different sectors as well as taking on board views of front-line workers and young people will be an important part of my new style of governance. Politically accountable officials and I will conduct district visits on a regular basis to maintain close communication and contact with District Councillors and local residents so that we can have a better grasp of their views and suggestions on our policies and the work of the Government.

Furthermore, I will urge all policy bureaux and departments to get together to resolve problems faced by the people. Bureaux and departments should refrain from operating from their own silos. The Chief Secretary for Administration and the Financial Secretary will assist me in co-ordinating inter-bureaux and departmental work in key policy areas such as land and housing, poverty alleviation, helping the elderly and the disadvantaged, climate change and the development of technology.

Last but not the least, I wish to express my gratitude to the incumbent Chief Executive for the trust and support he has given me during my four and a half years as the Chief Secretary for Administration. I wish also to thank all the current Directors of Bureaux who had worked with me closely in the past few years and who are leaving the Government. I have no doubt that they will continue to care about Hong Kong’s development and serve the community in different capacities. I am also indebted to all my civil servants for their strong sense of duty and hard work in co-operating fully with politically accountable officials.

My fellow Hong Kong citizens, my team and I will listen and work with you in the coming five years and ensure that discussions will be fruitful and decisions can be taken forward. We pledge to serve the people with pragmatism and build a better Hong Kong for the next generation.

Thank you very much.

21.06.2017


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