Path of Democracy – Imagine Hong Kong

Ten Recommended Policy Items to the CE Candidates

1. Governance and Political System: Reforming Governance and Implementing Universal Suffrage

• Promote an inclusive political system by inviting people with different political views to the executive committee

• Refine accountability system by allowing Executive Council members not to vote in favour of the Government’s stance on specific key issues   

• Relaunch political reform to achieve Chief Executive election and Legislative Council election by universal suffrage in five years and ten years respectively.

• Institutionalise regular dialogue between the Central Government, HKSAR Government and people representatives (NGOs?) in Hong Kong with public consultation and reporting, to ensure correct implementation of “One Country, Two Systems” 

• Protect Hong Kong’s core values and safeguard judicial independence in Hong Kong under the framework of “One Country Two System”

• Conduct public consultation on seven acts listed in Article 23 for at least two years and not to enact Article 23 legislation before a broad consensus is reached among public.

2. Economy: Refine Public Finance Principles and Diversify Economy

• Maintain fiscal reserves level at an amount equivalent to the total of 12 months’ government expenditure

• Review Hong Kong’s tax regime and widen tax base

• Maintain Hong Kong’s open economy and develop Hong Kong as Asia’s trade and services centre by leveraging China’s new economic strategy and finalising the Hong Kong, China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement

• Facilitate innovative technology development by increasing Government’s investment in Research & Development from the current level of 0.7% to at least 2% of Hong Kong’s GDP

• Further develop e-government by innovative technology talent acquisition, especially in the areas of big data and digital technology; transform Hong Kong into a smart city to smarten up Hong Kong people’s daily life

• Establish a cross-sector working group to study the necessity of developing a central code of conduct for players of the sharing economy industry

• Review financial regulations to promote Hong Kong as a FinTech hub

3. Social Welfare: Protecting and Supporting the Elderly with New Initiatives

• Replace the existing Old Age Allowance scheme with an universal retirement protection scheme with various levels of assistance

• Legislate standard working hours by phases. In the first phase, the standard working hours should be linked with minimum wages or applied to employees with monthly salaries below HKD 20,000

• Set up a public body to manage the investment of the funds of the MPF scheme in order to lower management fees, enhance transparency and improve return on investment; allow citizens to use MPF savings for purposes such as buying property and pursuing continuing education 

• Increase supply of elderly homes to shorten waiting time; build wheelchair-accessible dormitories equipped with Personal Emergency Link Service device and other elderly-friendly facilities for single elderly people, with priorities given to those living in cage homes or subdivided units.

4. Social Inclusion: Creating a Fairer Society for All

• Rename “ethnic minority” policies to “non-ethnic Chinese” policies; extend the implementation of “Chinese Language Curriculum Second Language Learning Framework” for non-native Chinese speaking students from primary and second schools to pre-primary education; develop “Chinese as a second language” curriculum and Chinese language proficiency test which is recognised by the government, education institutions and employers; invite more non-ethnic Chinese professionals to join the Government’s advisory bodies

• Design corporate diversity guidelines; safeguard the right to breastfeed in public

• Protect the right of visually impaired people to use public facilities with guide dogs

• Review animal welfare laws in Hong Kong

• Legislate against sexual orientation discrimination

• Legislate for comprehensive consumer rights protection and personal data privacy protection

5. Education: Building Talent Pool through Quality Education

• Increase the portion of government expenditure on education to 25% over the coming four years

• Add coding in secondary school curriculum; increase the number of teaching hours for sports, music, as well as arts and culture in primary and secondary schools

• Improve student-teacher ratios in primary schools and reduce teaching hours for teachers; give greater care to students’ emotional needs and attention to students’ behaviours; increase permanent counseling teachers and school social workers

• Simplify school-based assessment (SBA) and suspend if SBA has not been implemented yet

• Review the Primary One Admission System and the Secondary School Places Allocation System to ensure fairness

• Introduce more degree programmes and vocationally-oriented diploma programmes on subject matters, such as big data management, environmental protection technology as well as arts and culture, to facilitate Hong Kong’s economic transformation and diversification

• Establish “First-in-Family” scholarships to open the door for university study

• Offer scholarship for overseas students to enhance internationalization of universities

• Allocate more resources to support students with special needs and create more employment opportunities for individuals with special needs

• Review the governance structure of universities to safeguard academic freedom and preserve adequate institutional autonomy

• Invite more young people to join the Government’s advisory bodies

6. Housing and Urban Planning: Shortening Waiting Time for Public Housing and Conserving Heritage

• Introduce a bottom-up urban planning consultation mechanism, focusing on conserving community characteristics and building elderly friendly and barrier-free community

• Include civil representation and full-time committee members on the Town Planning Board to improve decision-making

• Disclose database for brownfield sites and adopt a “brownfield first” approach for land development

• Prioritise community benefit and strike a balance between development and conversation; create a medium- to long-term land bank through disciplined reclamation outside Victoria Harbour to shorten waiting time for public housing

• Put strict conditions in place for developing country parks to meet necessary demand of the society

• Set clear and achievable public housing targets annually and establish it as a prerequisite of land sales

• Monitor progress of projects under the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme and review the grading system of historic buildings to protect public interests.

7. Healthcare: Delivering Patient-Centered Care

• Strengthen public-private partnerships to balance resources between private and public healthcare sector, with a focus on medical services with long waiting time

• Ensure the new regulatory regime for private healthcare providers can alleviate burden on the public healthcare system while improving pricing transparency

• Ensure adequate policy support for the high-risk pool under the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme, encouraging young and healthy citizens to buy in with tax incentives

• Expand and strengthen the network of community healthcare centers to provide more care and support to patients with chronic diseases and their families

• Standardise definitions of health insurance policy terms to strengthen protection of consumer rights

8. Environment: Enabling Low-Carbon Lifestyle and Reducing Waste at Source

• Build a sustainable city with low pollution and low emission

• Provide financial aid to the recycling industry, enhancing their recycle and reuse capabilities through partnerships

• Review the Government’s green procurement policy and the independence of environmental impact assessment

• Adopt a waste management strategy that emphasizes reduction at source; implement the Municipal Solid Waste Charging

• Address issues such as sustainable water resources management, renewable energy development and energy poverty while mitigating impacts of climate change

• Review the Scheme of Control Agreement with Hong Kong Electric and CLP, expiring in 2018

9. Public Transport: Tackling congestion and Reducing Transportation Cost

• Set an upper limit for return of MTR and study the feasibility of a buyback

• Review the existing Fare Adjustment Mechanism for public transportation

• Equalize toll fees across Eastern Harbour, Western Harbour, and Cross Harbour tunnels

• Connect the cycleways of different districts

• Implement Electronic Road Pricing

• Establish “mainland officials can only handle immigration procedures in Hong Kong rather than enforcing other mainland laws” as the prerequisite for co-location system of the high-speed railway

10. Sports & Culture: Participation for All and Strategic Development

• Devise long-term development strategy, goals and implementation plan for sports, emphasising its contribution to the manpower enhancement and better management of aging population; develop sports industry to enhance Hong Kong’s international status

• Study the feasibility of opening up sports venues of primary and secondary schools and youth centers for loan and use by general public

• Improve governance of sports associations, align salary structures for professional athletes with international standards, allocate more resources for elite athletes development and groom sports management and marketing talents

• Develop arts and culture industries, as well as building international arts and culture; increase and consolidate venues; support small- and medium-sized art groups on long-term planning and development; nurture arts management and marketing talents

• Actively engage and cooperate with local and international corporations and charities to promote sports and cultural development in Hong Kong