We want youth talks, says Cheung

Top News | Phoenix Un 8 Jul 2019

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung says the government would like to communicate with young people to understand their needs and to improve its governance.

Cheung said he has also had a close-door meeting with pan-democrat lawmakers on how the Legislative Council should handle the remaining items on its agenda.

Writing on his blog, Cheung said the government has shown intention to have dialogue with people and the opposition to solve the fugitive bill deadlock.

But the student unions of Chinese University and University of Science and Technology snubbed the government's close-door meeting invitation. Other universities were not invited.

Cheung said the government will listen more to society in accordance with Chief Executive Carrie Lam's "new governance style" - which is to communicate with people of different social classes and backgrounds on different policies and issues.

Cheung especially highlighted the role of young people. "We would like to contact young people proactively to understand and care about what they need, so that policies can address their real needs," he said.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po did not talk about the economy on his blog for once. Instead he said society suffered in the past month, making many people feel tired and depressed, but he said communication would be necessary during disputes.

"No matter how much difference there is between different parties, I believe we all have consensus on the following: treasure your loved ones and treasure lives," Chan said.

He said the government has learned a lesson that the current mechanism should be improved for better communication with people, whose opinions should be considered more when making policy decisions.

"We hope to mend the gap between the public and government, and reconstruct mutual trust."

Chan recognized that not all social problems could be solved by merely putting in more resources and many aspects, including principles, history and reality, as well as the needs and feelings of stakeholders, should be considered when drafting solutions.

Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah blogged that she and her Department of Justice colleagues would have more communication with the legal sector and dispute-resolving sector to help future policy drafting.

"But people should also fulfill their duties as citizens, and should never do anything breaching the law, especially violent and destructive behavior," Cheng wrote.

She said prosecutors would carefully examine evidence before making any decisions. "Not all people will be prosecuted even if they were arrested in the same place and [even if they are prosecuted] they may not necessarily be charged with the same crime."

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong wrote that not all policies of the government are agreeable to people, and the reason for some of these occasions was the government's thoughtlessness and lack of understanding of public opinion.


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