HK's Tung desires good LegCo ties
Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa expressed hopes of a good relationship between his administration and the Legislative Council (LegCo) for Hong Kong's well being.
Speaking at a question-and-answer session in LegCo Tuesday, Tung said such a relationship was provided for in the Basic Law and should enable both the executive and the legislature to function well.
"According to the Basic Law, it is stated that the SAR is executive-led. Yet it also needs to allow LegCo to perform its functions in monitoring, checking and complementing the government fully," Tung said.
Tuesday's was the last such session before a new LegCo is elected in September.
Describing the past four years as a test period, Tung said the ongoing process towards fruitful co-operation will not end with the change of a government or a legislature.
"So long as we all adhere to the direction as set by the Basic Law and share the common goal of serving the people, the prospect for the relationship between the executive and the legislature is boundless," he said.
He recalled the April decision by the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) to rule out universal suffrage for the election of chief executive and LegCo in 2007/08. And he noted the ruling was made not only in the long-term interests of Hong Kong but of the nation.
Replying to a question by Democratic Party legislator Andrew Cheng on whether he is about to ask the NPCSC to change its ruling, Tung said he is not so empowered.
According to the Basic Law, Tung explained, the chief executive is accountable to the NPCSC and obliged to execute its decisions without authority to ask the NPCSC to amend its decisions.
He said the NPCSC has a thorough understanding of Hong Kong's situation and sentiment.
Although the country's top legislature has ruled out universal suffrage in 2007/08, the SAR will eventually achieve it through a gradual and orderly process.
He urged all sides concerned to participate -- on the basis of the NPCSC decision -- in the consultations launched by the Constitutional Development Task Force in search of a consensus on the electoral arrangements for 2007/08.
He called on legislators to view universal suffrage from the mainland perspective.
Answering Liberal Party legislator James Tien's question about home visit permits for "democrats," he said he is "actively" dealing with the matter and additional time is needed. But he stopped short of giving a timetable, noting progress has been made.
Meanwhile, Tung said his government is aware of middle class concerns and will strive to improve governance and policies to address their needs.
He said the government has been taking steps to involve middle class professionals in consultations to ensure their concerns and needs are reflected.
The government is committed to safeguarding values of concern, he said.