Ms. Carrie Lam is going to be the next Chief Executive of the HKSAR and the development of Hong Kong is entering a new era. In view of the tensions in Hong Kong society that are still occurring, the DAB hopes that the new Chief Executive will be able to stand by what is right and then strive for results. To this end, she should listen sincerely to the advice of various sectors in society and promote social harmony. She should view financial reserves in a new paradigm and quickly set up her governing team. In facing the challenges ahead, she should prioritize implementing the policies we propose below in order to solve the many deep-rooted problems in our society and to leave a firm foundation for future policymaking in Hong Kong. Our proposals include:
Deal with the Housing Issue and Encourage Social Mobility
1.Increase the availability of Public Housing in order to meet the goal of “three years on the waitlist or less” for residents on the Public housing waitlist.
2.Increase the number of housing units and the Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Pilot Scheme (GSH). Restart the Tenants Purchase Scheme (TPS) and Sandwich Class housing plan. Also restart the construction of private and mixed-use housing in order to set up a property ladder for residents at different salary levels.
3.When constructing new housing, ensure that all the required facilities are completed in time in order to improve the district as a whole.
4.Improve the placement and compensation policy
5.Encourage HOS landowners to set low rents for their tenants and work with social enterprises to rent out empty units by exempting their land premiums entirely. This will help alleviate the burden on the underprivileged.
6.Upgrade the “Commission on Poverty” to a “Committee on improving social mobility”. This committee will look for ways to improve upward social mobility and will do its work across multiple bureaus.
Promote Industrial Development and Economic Diversity
7.The government should help promote Hong Kong’s economic development by proactively encouraging the development of Hong Kong’s economy and industry.
8.Help local businesses take up the opportunities afforded by National-level projects such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area and expand their businesses both locally and abroad.
9.Promote tax reform in order to reduce the tax burden on SMEs.
10.Provide multifaceted assistance to newly emerging industries such as Chinese medicine, cultural creative and agricultural industries to help them develop.
11.Coordinate cooperation between official, industrial, academic and research fields and strengthen government procurement of technology by sharing their data with each other. Through such cooperation we can truly build a smart city and heavily promote new technological industries and their development.
12.Set up a “natural disasters protection mechanism for the agriculture and fisheries industry” and improve the Emergency Relief Fund (ERF) in order to help serve those in the agricultural and fisheries sector who usually lack insurance and may undergo sudden natural disasters. The mechanism and the ERF will help ease their transition and help them to smoothly recommence their work after recovering from unforeseen circumstances.
13.Develop an official training and talent procurement strategy for Hong Kong industries such as finance, logistics, innovation and technology. Review and adjust the current policies in place for attracting talent, including finding ways to loosen the restrictions on Hong Kong professionals who earned their credentials overseas to work in Hong Kong in their own field.
Improve the Quality of Education and Promote Family Harmony.
14.Make the independent Chinese history course for junior high school mandatory again for all students.
15.Use a five billion HKD grant to develop education, including setting up a professional ladder for kindergarten teachers and implementing an official salary scale for them. Provide more whole day and long whole day kindergartens and strengthen the support of students with special requirements, including ethnic minorities and learner diversity education.
16.Allow more contract teachers to become tenured, regular teachers.
17.Reduce the pressure on schoolchildren and aim at “zero homework” for the youngest grades.
18.Increase the number of childcare services in each district and lengthen their time of operation, aiming at setting 5 day workweeks for the general public.
Taking care of the Quality of life and promoting the health and welfare of the people
19.Establish a fare fund with MTR cash dividends to offset fare increases.
20.Request that each Bus company provides a monthly ticket scheme for commuters.
21.Provide Chinese Medicine Specialist Outpatient clinics and services in each district.
22.Provide more Chinese medicinal services in senior centres in each district.
23.Let the Tseung Kwan O Chinese medicinal hospital enter the Public Health system.
24.Strengthen clinic services at night time and aim at providing 24 hour services for general out-patient clinics.
25.Expand the scope of the “Samaritan Fund” to cover medicines and allow newly developed medicines to be on the funding list in order to increase the amount of help provided.
26.Provide a “lump sum” or ongoing grant to qualified private care facilities in order to raise the level of facilities and service provided. At the same time, subsidise the training of personnel in nursing specialising in elderly care, and promote and subsidise research in related fields, and to prepare a subsidy fund to support senior care.
27.Allow seniors aged 65 and over to receive OLA funds without a means test, and increase the asset limit for the OALA and the “OALA with a high tier of assistance” to $800,000 and $300,000 respectively.
28.Set up a comprehensive food safety standard and strengthen food safety monitoring at its source. Improve the laws for food imports and strengthen public communication procedures regarding food safety incidents from the Mainland.
29.Research how to implement a law that a project manager has to take care of the interests of injured workers first before paying any construction fee. We can deduct a reasonable fee as a means to guarantee that compensation will be paid.
Perfect public facilities and prevent bid-rigging and monopolies
30.Develop and build Public markets in Ma On Shan, Tin Shui Wai, Tseung Kwan O, Tung Chung and other districts that lack a Public market.
31.Improve the parking situation by building more short term rental parking lots, installing a smart parking system and other such methods.
32.Finish constructing the train lines such as the East Kowloon MTR line and monorail and also hasten construction of the Tuen Mun to Tsuen Wan Link, the North Island Line and South Island Line (West) and enhance the Light Rail system.
33.Set up the “Building Management and Maintenance Authority” that will advise homeowners on repairs and renovations and help achieve its goals and prevent bid- rigging.
34.Enhance district council authority. Provide more resources to the District Council in order to facilitate small-scale works and services in each district.
Promote Virtuous Democracy and Protect Law and Order
35.Assemble a consensus as soon as possible, and restart the political reform process while respecting the decisions of August 31st by the Central Government.
36.Improve the relationship between the Executive and the Legislature. Attract more talented people from the ranks of important political parties into the governing apparatus. At the same time, allow political parties to participate in policymaking at an earlier stage in order to better understand the will of the people on different policies.
37.Invite the general public to participate in deep discussions and forums on policy in focused small groups, and in this way give their advice and suggestions to policymakers
38.Improve the communication channels with the general public, such as strengthening efforts to visit each district and establish more communication channels. This should include online offices that can communicate directly with residents via internet platforms. The government can announce policies and then attract, collect, organize and analyze the reaction and proposals of netziens.
39.Attract more talented young people to join various advisory bodies and set a quota for young members in committees, panels and subcommittees.
40.Provide more resources to train Public Servants to develop a smart city by training up a mindset of innovation and the importance of technology.
41.Look at examples from abroad and research how to implement “anti-mask legislation” and “Insulting Public officer” laws.
Media Contact: DAB Chairperson Starry Lee (7770-0820)