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People-oriented benevolent governance is best solution [複製鏈接]

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發表於 2012-8-25 15:15:26 |顯示全部樓層
本帖最後由 雨露甘霑 於 2012-8-25 15:16 編輯

People-oriented benevolent governance is best solution

By Thomas Yeung Kwan Ho
May 8, 2012 - 10:36am
http://www.chinadailyapac.com
China Daily


On April 28, Fanny Law, director of the Chief Executive-Elect’s Office, said the line-up of key officials in the new government would be finalized in the next couple of weeks.

Incoming Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has proposed creating two deputies posts, under the Chief Secretary and the Financial Secretary. He is also on record as proposing the addition of two new bureaus.

The existing structure assigns the same rank and accountability in the pecking order to the “Big Three” – Chief Secretary for Administration (CS), Financial Secretary (FS) and Secretary for Justice (SJ). When the Chief Executive (CE) is absent from his daily work, the pecking order for acting CE is CS, FS and SJ, a practice inherited from the days when there were three million people under British colonial rule.

The population now stands at over seven million. The gross domestic product (GDP) is a hundred times higher than in the old days. Today, there are multiple, integrated and highly accelerated demands and responses from people, thanks to the Internet and wireless communication. “People-oriented benevolent governance” is the only way to resolve the deep-rooted conflicts and disputes in Hong Kong society, harmoniously and efficiently. At the same time we should revive the rich South China cultural heritage passed down through generations, as demonstrated in the life of the leading character in the multiple award winning movie “A Simple Life”.

While it is correct to create the new posts of Deputy Chief Secretary (DCS) and Deputy Financial Secretary (DFS), and add the new Cultural Bureau and The Information and Technology Bureau, overall coordination power should be given to CS and DCS over other secretaries. It is they who should set the policies and guide the activities of the administration bearing on frequent contact with the general public at large. This is the best means of achieving people-oriented, benevolent governance.

For instance, the policies on transportation and housing are put under FS, yet their administration and effect on daily life are addressed by staff from the CS-DCS team. In fact from the view point of the general public, there must be a centrally empowered team in the CS-DCS structure to oversee, integrate, and coordinate policies and to carry out benevolent daily administration over the general public. This will eliminate common complaints about problems floating around government bureaus that have led to an accumulation of deeply rooted conflicts and disputes.

The Fa Yuen Street fire of last November is a situation in point. The tragedy possibly could have been avoided if a centrally empowered team were assigned to administer it years ahead. People who bought the old buildings 50 years ago were not faced with fixed hawkers’ kiosks. Back then hawkers’ stalls were mobile and smaller, having fewer combustibles than today. The changes in the numbers, dimensions and the introduction of more combustible contents at hawkers’ kiosks were outside the control of owners of the old buildings. Even worse, some of the flats of the old buildings were partitioned into several small rooms, accommodating unexpectedly large numbers of residents. When people exited the buildings via staircases, it was only a short distance from the exits to fixed kiosks made from combustible material. This situation was beyond the expectations of the original owners of 50 years ago.

There is no demonstrable path as to how situations similar to Fa Yuen can be effectively resolved within the new structure, unless a central, empowered team under CS is assigned to oversee all the issues relating to government departments and bureaus. Only with such a team could the government deal affirmatively with the situation. This is the key to uprooting deeply rooted conflicts and disputes.

In this perspective, the CS and the DCS will be the first assistant and the second assistant to the CE. So when the CE is not in the office, the CS, DCS, then the FS, DFS would be deputized in according to a hierarchy based upon priority and accountability. The SJ, holding a unique role on Justice, in fact should not deputize the CE. The SJ is not supposed to be sufficiently experienced in the complicated issues administered by the CS, DCS, FS and DFS.

Now there will be four secretaries to be deputized in order and priority, one more than at present. And the SJ will clearly hold his unique and outstanding role on justice, which is a significant and basic constituent to our basic core values.

The author is the Convener of Policy Research, City Think Tank.

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