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Tsang rejects ‘lame duck’ tag

19 April 2012


Tanna Chong
12:26pm, Apr 19, 2012

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen denied his government was a “lame duck”, saying it played a role in shaping his successor’s “zero” quota on mainlanders giving birth at private hospitals.

His remarks on Thursday morning came after the blunt declaration by chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying that the quota for private hospitals to accept pregnant mainlanders should be “zero” next year. Mainland mothers who still manage to give birth in Hong Kong would “very likely” not gain permanent residency for their children.

Tsang said Leung’s “zero” quota, announced on Monday, was reached during discussions between the incoming and outgoing administrations.

”Policies before July 1 are my government’s matter. Those after July 1 are decided by Mr Leung. The ones overlapping July 1 should be discussed by both administrations,” said Tsang at the airport on Thursday morning, after returning from official (pre retirement holiday First Class) visits to New Zealand, Chile and Brazil.

“My government [is not] a lame duck,” he quacked (said).

Leung’s comments raised questions about whether the current government had been fully informed about them – especially Secretary for Food and Health Dr York Chow Yat-ngok, who had been expected to reduce the quota from 31,000. On Wednesday Chow rejected the suggestion that he had “knelt down” to Leung on the issue.

Tsang said there was no transition problem between his administration and Leung’s. “I have the same target with Leung in ensuring a smooth transition of the two administrations. It is of the utmost priority for my government,” said Tsang. “We maintain constant communication .”

With the Legislative Council set to debate a vote of no confidence against Tsang, over his acceptance of entertainment from tycoon friends, the chief executive said he would “listen humbly to the citizens’ and lawmakers’ views”.

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