Hiring issue isn’t a bone to pick
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Chief Executive-elect Leung Chun-ying has yet to assume office, but hurdles are piling up to test his mettle 氣概.
The latest obstruction is over his plan to restructure the government to include more secretaries and bureaus.
Pan-democratic lawmakers are opposed, saying Leung must first consult the public before asking for money. It’s painfully obvious the pan-democrats intend to live up to their stereotype of opposing for opposition’s sake.
But can the chief executive-elect clear the hurdle in time? Yesterday, he showed his wisdom by warning if his restructure plan is delayed, the timetable for public rental and Home Ownership Scheme housing will be affected, along with other policies of public concern.
It’s clear Leung is using public opinion to put pressure on the opposition.
It’s unlikely his plan will be blocked. In theory, he can resort to incumbent
Donald Tsang Yam-kuen’s practice of befriending the pro-establishment and alienating 疏遠
However, this wouldn’t bode well for Leung if he wants to start his term as a strong leader because it really doesn’t look nice in public. It isn’t risk- free for pan-democrats if the tussle persists, as public sentiment could turn against them.
First, it would hardly be the first time a chief executive reshuffles the deck to suit his governance. During Tung Chee- hwa’s administration, he overhauled the civil service to bring in the de facto ministerial system.
In 2008, Tsang implemented the political appointment system, under which undersecretaries and political assistants were brought on.
Both government changes were controversial, but supported by lawmakers.
Compared to Leung’s call for a bigger government set-up – with a reshuffling of duties between some secretaries and bureaus – the political appointment system in 2008 was more controversial in view of the nationalities and fat salaries involved.
If the lawmakers passed the restructuring in the past, why shouldn’t they this time?
Second, pan-democrats should know they won’t be able to bring about meaningful changes to the plan, despite their loud bellyaching. While it’s understandable for them to seek issues to speak out loudly on ahead of the upcoming Legislative Council election, this isn’t the proper subject.
On the contrary, this issue could backfire on the pan-democrats. If they believe they represent public opinion, they should take it up directly, rather than referring it back to the public. What would they expect the public to say?
Stop wasting time. It’d be in the pan- democrats’ greater interest to demonstrate they are able to lead.
Meanwhile, a few more names have surfaced in the lineup guessing game, in addition to Carrie Lam Yuet-ngor as chief secretary, and John Tsang Chun- wah as financial secretary.
Lam’s deputy would be Lam Woon- kwong, currently head of the Equal Opportunities Commission, while Tsang’s deputy would be Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Caejer Chan Ka-keung.
Former Bar Association chairman Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung is tipped as the secretary for justice.