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HK chief takes calls from public on his Policy Address
Latest Updated by 2006-10-13 09:45:33

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Donald Tsang took to the radio Thursday morning to promote his newly presented 2006-07 Policy Address, explaining the government's priorities during his remaining tenure.

When asked why his second Policy Address presentation was different from the previous ones, Tsang said the document did not cover every single measure and policy because he wants to focus on the most important and urgent tasks. The details of other new initiatives can be found in the Policy Agenda.

Speaking on a joint call-in program Thursday morning, Tsang said since views within the community remain diverse, it is inappropriate to table a legislative proposal on the controversial minimal wage to the Legislative Council at the moment.

He said the government proposed Wage Protection Movement instead of legislation process can offer immediate protection to workers, adding the public and the media can help prevent exploitation by monitoring the campaign's effectiveness.

"It might take six months or a year for the council to discuss the legislative proposal," Tsang explained. "If we implement the Wage Protection Movement now, workers in the cleansing and guarding services sectors can benefit from the campaign immediately."

Tsang said the Government would join the Labor Advisory Board and the public to monitor the movement, adding that the government will prepare for the introduction of legislation for a minimum wage if the campaign fails to yield satisfactory results.

On education issues, Tsang said the proposed education voucher aims to help the grass roots and middle-class families with a net monthly income below 40,000 HK dollars (about 5,100)

Tsang explained that since the initiative involves public money, it is improper to expand the scheme to cover profit-making kindergartens.

Refuting criticism that the Policy Address did not outline the city's constitutional development, the Chief Executive said he had explained his thoughts in the document, adding he will lead the Commission on Strategic Development to come up with a report on universal suffrage early next year.

Editor: Donald

By: Source:China View website
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