8th April 2021 – (Hong Kong) Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in the opening remarks of the Question and Answer session at Legislative Council this morning that she thanked the Legislative Council Chairman Andrew Leung for agreeing to hold the Q&A session originally scheduled for May as early as today, so that she could explain to the Legislative Council the idea of improving the electoral system in Hong Kong.
She pointed out that following the National Security Law, the electoral reform is another measure to resolve local issues at the national level and it is crucial for Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. She also thanked the overwhelming majority of the members of the Legislative Council for their support, saying that they are most qualified to deal with the unprecedented chaos in the Legislative Council and the District Councils.
She said that due to loopholes in the electoral system, the Legislative Council and the district councils have become extremely chaotic in the past. Not only have they become platforms for anti-central, anti-government voices but they also colluded with foreign forces. As of last night, Carrie Lam and the directors of various departments have conducted five internal government presentations, 68 public sessions and distributed more than 100,000 pamphlets. The government plans to conduct the first reading of the bill to improve the electoral system at the additional meeting of the Legislative Council next Wednesday, involving five thematic laws including the Legislative Council Election Ordinance and the District Council Election Ordinance. It will also amend the Legislative Council election date. Any manipulation and sabotage of elections will be dealt with according to law.
Carrie Lam said that the purpose of revising the electoral system is to effectively improve governance efficiency. Even with a good system, there must be talents to improve governance efficiency, and the government, as the first responsible person for governance, needs talents. She pointed out that in addition to governance capabilities, civil servants must also have governance concepts to ensure that civil servants are patriots in governing Hong Kong. The policy address has proposed the establishment of a civil service college. At present, the North Point Government Office must first integrate the civil servant training departments. A college must be set up by this year-end.
As for the leaders in the society, Carrie Lam hopes they are from political parties and think tanks. She pointed out that these people can participate in government work, shadow projects, and join government committees, calling on all political parties to work together.
With regards to COVID-19 vaccination programme in Hong Kong, Carrie Lam admitted that the vaccination progress is not satisfactory. She also pointed out that the government is studying different vaccination incentive schemes including the extension of “Return2HK” scheme to regions outside Guangdong Province. According to existing measures, those returning to Hong Kong through Guangdong Province and Macau can be exempted from quarantine for 14 days.