23rd May 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Chief Executive of Hong Kong, John Lee, met with reporters before the Executive Council meeting today (May 23). Lee first mentioned the “Chief Executive’s Question and Answer Session” in the Legislative Council last Thursday, where legislators actively asked questions and provided opinions, thanking them for their active and serious participation. During the question and answer session, legislators put forward many useful suggestions, bringing a new atmosphere of interaction between the Executive and Legislative branches. He pointed out that legislators are an important part of Hong Kong’s governing force, and this question and answer session marks the beginning of a new chapter in jointly creating a “patriots governing Hong Kong” approach. He particularly highlighted the three questions he posed to the Legislative Council, which included how to promote patriotic and Hong Kong-loving values that are in line with the “One Country, Two Systems” policy, financing issues related to large-scale land development, and how to develop Hong Kong into a regional hub for international higher education. He stated that he and his team will carefully study the legislators’ suggestions for consideration in policy-making.
In addition, Lee will attend events promoting enterprises and integration into the Greater Bay Area in Guangzhou and Shenzhen tomorrow and Friday, respectively. He stated that he and bureau directors will frequently travel back and forth to the Greater Bay Area in the future, and that no other colleagues need to serve as acting officials during their absences.
He emphasised that we must grasp the big picture, see the essence through phenomena, and enhance strategic thinking and other abilities. He hopes that patriots will keep these concepts in mind. He thanked the legislators once again.
He revealed that he will depart for Guangzhou tomorrow (24th May) and attend the opening ceremony of the Guangdong-Hong Kong Cooperation Week jointly organised by Guangdong Province and Hong Kong, hoping to promote cooperation between the two places under the theme of “Linking Hong Kong.” The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) will hold the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong-Guangdong Cooperation Week and the SmartHK forum tomorrow morning in Guangzhou. At the event’s invitation, the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, will attend the ceremony, and will return to Hong Kong that day.
He stated that Hong Kong is striving to catch up with and even surpass the front-runners, working hard for Hong Kong’s economy and development.
Regarding the recent surge in cancellations of organ donation registration among Hong Kong citizens, Lee stated that organ donation is very important and is a vital mechanism for helping people whose organs are damaged or cannot function properly. Organ donation is encouraged and promoted worldwide, and Hong Kong also vigorously promotes it, opposing any activities that undermine organ donation. He noticed that there were unusual cancellation figures, including some who did not register or were duplicated. People who cancel without registering or intentionally disrupt the system should be severely condemned, and investigations should be conducted to determine if there are any violations or illegal activities. He mentioned that more than half of the cancelled numbers did not even register for organ donation.
Former Secretary for Transport and Housing, Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, recently mentioned that the HK$2 discounted fare for public transportation was bringing financial pressure to the treasury and suggested that the government consider adjusting the discount to $3. Lee stated that different opinions will be considered, but he noticed that there were cases of abuse in the numbers. In the future, there will be stronger deterrent measures against intentional abuse, and institutions will be required to increase their efforts in promoting and educating the public. He emphasised that the most important thing at this stage is to prevent the abuse of the HK$2 fare system, and relevant departments should take action and promote it to ensure that the public is using the system properly. Lee stated that he has visited many places to promote and sell Hong Kong, and has received positive responses, and all visits will continue.
Regarding the salary increase for civil servants, Lee stated that the government has an effective mechanism for adjusting salaries, and it will be dealt with according to the mechanism.
Finally, as for the anti-extradition bill protests that occurred almost four years ago, the police recently stated that they would provide an update. When asked about the progress, Lee responded that the police will handle the case based on the situation and that any timeline without considering evidence is unrealistic.