CY Leung as Chief Executive of Hong Kong

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First term of CY Leung as Chief Executive of Hong Kong, officially referred to as "The 4th term Chief Executive of Hong Kong" relates to the period of governance of Hong Kong since the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong, between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2017.

Election[edit]

During the Hong Kong Chief Executive election, 2012, CY Leung secured a majority of the 1,132 votes cast by Election Committee members. Leung received 689 votes in all. His opponents Henry Tang and Albert Ho received 285 and 76 votes respectively. Thus, Leung was declared duly elected by the Returning Officer.[1][2] After the election result was endorsed by the Central Government of the PRC, Leung took office on 1 July 2012, for a term of five years.

Mandate[edit]

Upon their elections, Tung Chee-hwa and Donald Tsang enjoyed popularity ratings of 80 percent and 70 percent respectively.[3] Commentators have widely suggested that by comparison, Leung's very low approval rating of 17.8 percent by participants in the mock election and a less than overwhelming 57 per cent support from the Election Committee members means he lacks the mandate from the people.[4] The Standard cited one source who suggested the fact that the active involvement of the central government liaison office in the election may deter some people from joining Leung's team.[5] Furthermore, pundits have commented Leung's lack of support within the business community may mean Leung may have difficulty recruiting suitable and capable talent for his cabinet.[6]

Legacy issues[edit]

In addition to general livelihood issues, specific issues inherited by Leung from the previous administration include:

  • Pregnant mainland women seeking to give birth in Hong Kong, specifically to benefit from the right of abode. Seeking to assert his authority, Leung first public announcement on policy as Chief Executive-elect was to impose a 'zero' quota on mainland mothers giving birth in Hong Kong. Leung further underlined that those who did may not be able to secure the right of abode for their offspring in Hong Kong.[7]
  • Illegal structures, particularly on village houses and latent confrontation with the Heung Yee Kuk.[8]
  • The future of solid waste disposal, specifically the proposal to construct a waste incinerator on Shek Kwu Chau, after Edward Yau, Environment secretary for the 2nd Tsang administration, failed to secure the support of Panel members to file its funding request to the relevant LegCo committee in April 2012.[9]
  • As part of Hong Kong's democratic development, the Leung administration is tasked with paving the way for election, in 2017, of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage.
  • The Tsang administration resurrected plans for a “national education” that had been originally shelved until 2015.[10] It announced in April 2012 that Moral and National Education would be introduced as a curriculum subject in both primary and secondary schools in September of the same year, becoming compulsory in primary schools in September 2015 and in secondary schools in 2016.[11]

Transitional team[edit]

Fanny Law, who was Leung's campaign manager, was appointed as head of the office of the CE-elect.[12] Leung earlier appointed Cathy Hung as his PR officer and Allen Fung as project officer.[13]

Leung's fourth appointment to his transitional office, of 27-year-old Chen Ran (陳冉) as his project officer, stirred criticism. Chen is a former General Secretary of the pro-CPC Hong Kong Y.Elites Association (香港菁英會), of which Leung is the patron. She is also the daughter of a middle-ranking government official in Shanghai, and a former member of the Communist Youth League who has resided in Hong Kong for over 6 years. Her application to permanent residency of Hong Kong has been reportedly fast-tracked. Lee Cheuk-yan criticised Leung of "seeding a Communist princeling" in the civil service.[14] The CE-elect's office said that Chen had not been actively involved in the Youth League since 2005; the DAB said it was appropriate for Leung to recruit people who shared his vision.[13] An op-ed in The Standard said that "almost every bright student is invited to join the CYL," but that "Leung should have been aware of the sensitivity involved".[15] The appointment makes the CE-elect's office the third government department to recruit a non-permanent resident since the system of non-civil service contracts was put in place in 1999.[16]

Restructure of governing apparatus[edit]

In April 2012, chief Leung announced plan to reform the government, "aimed at providing better service to the public while boosting governance".[17] Under the plan, two more deputy secretaries are to be created – a new deputy chief secretary and deputy financial secretary – to join the chief secretary, financial secretary, and secretary for justice.[18] Leung announced his desire to create a Culture Bureau; Housing and Transport would be split into two bureaux and Housing would merge with Lands and planning.[18] The newly created Deputy chief secretary position will be responsible for the Labour and welfare, Education and cultural affairs bureaux. The Chief secretary is to oversee environment, Food and health, Home affairs, Security, Civil service and Constitutional and mainland affairs. The Financial secretary is to oversee Housing, planning and lands, Works, Transport and Financial services and the treasury bureaux. The Deputy financial secretary will be in overall charge of the Commerce, industrial and tourism, as well as the Information and technology bureaux.[19] To allow for a smooth transition, the government agreed to table Leung's restructuring plan before LegCo before it dissolved for the summer. However, Pan Democrats believed careful scrutiny was necessary, and strongly opposed the plan to rush through the changes; People Power representatives in Legco warned they would table some 900 motions at the Finance Committee meeting on 15 June and over 100 amendments at the plenary council meeting on June 20.[18]

New lineup[edit]

Ministry[edit]

The new ministerial line-up under Leung was announced on 28 June. As the new structure has not yet passed through the legislature, the posts were announced under the old structures.[20]

Portfolio Minister Took office Left office Party
Chief Executive   CY Leung 1 July 2012 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Chief Secretary for Administration   Carrie Lam 1 July 2012 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Financial Secretary   John Tsang 1 July 2007 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Secretary for Justice   Rimsky Yuen 1 July 2012 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Secretary for Transport and Housing   Anthony Cheung 1 July 2012 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Secretary for Home Affairs   Tsang Tak-sing 1 July 2007 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Secretary for Labour and Welfare   Matthew Cheung 1 July 2007 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury   KC Chan 1 July 2007 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development   Gregory So 28 June 2011 Incumbent DAB
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs   Raymond Tam 30 September 2011 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Secretary for Security   Lai Tung-kwok 1 July 2012 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Secretary for Education   Eddie Ng 1 July 2012 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Secretary for the Civil Service   Paul Tang 1 July 2012 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Secretary for Food and Health   Ko Wing-man 1 July 2012 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Secretary for the Environment   Wong Kam-sing 1 July 2012 Incumbent Nonpartisan
Secretary for Development   Mak Chai-kwong 1 July 2012 12 July 2012 Nonpartisan
  Paul Chan 30 July 2012 Incumbent Nonpartisan

Executive Council non-official members[edit]

The Executive Council consisted of 30 members in total: Chief Executive being the President of the ExCo, 3 secretaries of the department and 12 heads of the bureaux as the 16 official members; 14 non-official members. In October 2012, two additional Legislative Council members, Regina Ip, chairwoman of the New People's Party and Jeffrey Lam, vice-chairman of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong were appointed to the Executive Council as non-official members after the 2012 Legislative Council election, which made the total members of the ExCo to 32. After Barry Cheung and Franklin Lam resigned from the ExCo, the Chief Executive did not reappoint new members to the Council.

Members Affiliation Portfolio Assumed Office Left Office Born In Ref
Lam, Woon-kwongLam Woon-kwong Nonpartisan Non-official Convenor of the ExCo;
Former civil servant
1 July 2012 Incumbent 1951 [21]
Cheng, Yiu-tongCheng Yiu-tong FTU Honorary president of FTU 1 July 2002 Incumbent 1951 [22]
Cha, LauraLaura Cha Nonpartisan Non-executive deputy chairman of HSBC 19 October 2004 Incumbent 1949 [23]
Wu, AnnaAnna Wu Nonpartisan Management consultant 21 January 2009 Incumbent 1951 [24]
Li, ArthurArthur Li Nonpartisan Deputy chairman of Bank of East Asia 1 July 2012 Incumbent 1945 [25]
Liao, AndrewAndrew Liao Nonpartisan Former deputy judge of High Court 1 July 2012 Incumbent 1949 [26]
Chow, Chung-kongChow Chung-kong Nonpartisan Chairman of HKEx and HKGCC 1 July 2012 Incumbent 1950 [27]
Cheung, Hok-mingCheung Hok-ming DAB Vice-chairman of Heung Yee Kuk 1 July 2012 Incumbent 1952 [28]
Law, FannyFanny Law Nonpartisan Former government official 1 July 2012 Incumbent 1953 [29]
Cheung, BarryBarry Cheung Nonpartisan Chairman of HKMEx and URA 1 July 2012 24 May 2013 1955 [30]
Cheung, Chi-kongCheung Chi-kong Nonpartisan Executive director of One Country Two Systems Research Institute 1 July 2012 Incumbent 1953 [31]
Lam, FranklinFranklin Lam Nonpartisan Former senior portfolio manager at UBS Global Asset Management 1 July 2012 1 August 2013 1961 [32]
Chan, BernardBernard Chan Nonpartisan Businessman and politician 1 July 2012 Incumbent 1965
Lee, StarryStarry Lee DAB Legislative Council member 1 July 2012 Incumbent 1974
Ip, ReginaRegina Ip NPP Legislative Council member 17 October 2012 Incumbent 1950
Lam, JeffreyJeffrey Lam BPA Legislative Council member 17 October 2012 Incumbent 1951

Mak Chai-kwong housing allowance allegations[edit]

Newly appointed development minister, Mak Chai-kwong, became embroiled in controversy when disclosures surfaced about the cross-leasing scheme he allegedly used to claim housing allowance some 20 years ago as a civil servant [33] The incident led to his arrest by the ICAC and his resignation, twelve days into his appointment.[34] He was replaced by former Accountancy functional constituency lawmaker, Paul Chan.

Other posts[edit]

National Education[edit]

Furore erupted in the first week of July 2012, when the National Education Services Centre and National Education Centre published a 34-page education booklet on the Beijing Consensus in which one-party rule was praised. it was revealed that the previous administration had granted at least HK$72 million (US$9.2 million) over six years to the two companies to produce these materials, which were accused of being "biased".[35]

The Leung administration, which steadfastly resisted public pressure to scrap the subject, was accused of attempting to force through the Beijing government's agenda to "brainwash" its citizens against popular opposition. A street protest against the introduction on 29 July organised by civic, teacher, parent and student groups opposed to the introduction was attended by an estimated crowd of 90,000.[36]

2014 electoral reform protests[edit]

Sit-in protests frequently referred to as the Umbrella Revolution began in September 2014 in response to the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) on reforms to the Hong Kong electoral system. [37] Benny Tai, one of the principals of Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP), planted the seeds of a civil disobedience movement in January 2013 should the framework not conform to international standards.[38] In light of the highly restrictive electoral framework announced on 31 August 2014, which was tantamount to Communist Party pre-approval of candidates allowed to present themselves to the Hong Kong electorate, students mobilised a class boycott to protest the decision beginning on 22 September 2014. The Hong Kong Federation of Students and Scholarism started protesting outside the government headquarters on 26 September 2014;[39] OCLP kicked off their civil disobedience campaign on 28 September.[40] Demonstrations began outside the Hong Kong Government headquarters in northern Hong Kong Island,[41] and eventually a swell of protesters then blocked both east–west arterial routes in Admiralty. Aggressive policing (including the use of tear gas) and attacks on protesters by opponents that included triad members, triggered more citizens to join the protests, occupying Causeway Bay and Mong Kok.[42][43][44] Members of what would eventually be called the Umbrella Movement occupied several major city intersections, with the number of protesters peaking at more than 100,000.[45][46][47]

Government officials in Hong Kong and in Beijing denounced the occupation as "illegal" and "violation of the rule of law", and Chinese state media and officials claimed repeatedly that the West had played an "instigating" role in the protests, and warned of "deaths and injuries and other grave consequences."[48] In an opinion poll carried out by Chinese University of Hong Kong, only 36.1% of 802 people surveyed between 8–15 October accept NPCSC's decision but 55.6% are willing to accept if HKSAR Government would democratise the nominating committee during the second phase of public consultation period.[49] The protests precipitated a rift in Hong Kong society, and galvanised youth – a previously apolitical section of society – into political activism or heightened awareness of their civil rights and responsibilities. Not only were there fist fights at occupation sites and flame wars on social media, family members found themselves on different sides of the conflict.[50]

Key areas in Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok were occupied and remained closed to traffic for over 70 days. Despite numerous incidents of intimidation and violence by triads and thugs, particularly in Mong Kok, and several attempts at clearance by the police, suffragists held their ground for over two months. CY Leung then made the famous comments referring to representative democracy as a numbers game because "you'd be talking to half the people in Hong Kong [that] earn less than US$1,800 a month [the median wage in HK]. You would end up with that kind of politics and policies".[51][52] After the Mong Kok occupation site was cleared with some scuffles on 25 November, Admiralty and Causeway Bay were cleared with no opposition on 11 and 14 December respectively. Throughout the protests the HK government's use of the police and courts to resolve political issues led to accusations from liberal media that these institutions had been turned into a political tools, thereby compromising the police and judicial system in the territory and eroding the rule of law in favour of "rule by law".[53][54][55][56] Police inactions and violent actions throughout the occupation and severely damaged the reputation of Hong Kong Police, which was once recognised as the most efficient and professional police forces in the Asia Pacific region.[57] The protests ended without any political concessions from the government, but instead triggered a torrent of rhetoric and propaganda from CY Leung and mainland officials about rule of law and patriotism, and an assault on academic freedoms and civil liberties of activists.[54][58][59][60]

Anti-parallel traders protests[edit]

As a result of rising tensions in society due to the volume of cross border parallel traders causing disruption to stores, transport, and the way of life more generally. Although the government said that it had put in place certain measures, such as blocking some 25,000 suspected parallel traders from entering Hong Kong, inspection of industrial buildings for use in violations of leases, the prosecution of cross-border visitors carrying an excess of the permitted quantity of milk powder, the problem of their disruption of daily life in the northern part of Hong Kong persists.[61][62][63][64] Radical localist groups such as Civic Passion and Hong Kong Indigenous initiated direct action against the unlimited multiple re-entry visa within the Individual Visit Scheme for PRC residents over three successive Sundays starting on 8 February 2015 in the most affected parts of the city.[61][65][66] These protests brought world-wide media attention to the locals' grievances.[67][68]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ The Fourth Term Chief Executive Election – Result. Government of Hong Kong.
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Preceded by
Tsang II
Government of Hong Kong
2012–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent