Jobs pledge comes with no strings attached

Top News | Michael Shum 11 May 2020

The cofounder of Hong Kong Coalition says he does not want to see tens of thousands of fresh graduates sitting at home without a job, which is why the alliance will help youngster find jobs regardless of political stance.

Speaking on a TVB interview yesterday, former chief executive Leung Chun-ying said the current unemployment crisis has not been seen in two generations.

"Many young people have yet to realize the severity of an economic slowdown. I have never encountered a situation like this before," he said.

"If they fail to find a job within a year of graduation, it will be very difficult for them to compete with next year's graduates."

Leung denied claims the alliance's assistance has conditions: "The coalition is willing to help youngsters regardless of political stance as long as they are willing to seek help from us."

The coalition will find out the requirements of applicants and what jobs they are willing to do, after which they will be matched with one of the coalition's 1,545 co-conveners.

He added that the alliance is hoping to announce the results of the matching process within a month.

"I hope youngsters understand the employment situation will remain difficult but they can find jobs through the coalition," Leung said. "The coalition can also provide them with occupational training and intern positions."

He also weighed in on recent political issues, saying: "People were advocating 'laws without justice are laws that need not be obeyed' as protesters were destroying shops during the unrest. This is going to drive away investors from Hong Kong, as the rule of law is very important to us.

"The coalition will promote the essence of the rule of law to young people, as well as not believing in fallacies."

But Leung did not offer a solution to reuniting society without responding to the five demands of the protesters, saying his alliance could not do the job for the government, as it is merely a non-government organization.

"There are many reasons behind our divided society, but the 'knots' can only be untied one by one," he said.

"It is impossible to deal with all the problems at once. The alliance can only bring together forces in society to help with the problem."

Leung said he does not approve of the concept of a "yellow economy" as it is "theoretically impossible."

He added: "Even in 'yellow shops,' water and raw materials are provided by the mainland - it is impossible to exclude the mainland and be self-sufficient."

Leung added that Hongkongers can have many different opinions, but should always remain peaceful in finding a way out and achieve mutual understanding.

But Leung only said he "opposes all sorts of violence" after lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen was dragged across the floor by lawmaker Kwok Wai-keung from the pro-establishment Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions during a scuffle in a Legislative Council House Committee meeting on Friday.

He also denied claims suggesting he is paving the way to run for chief executive again after cofounding the coalition.

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