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Job No 1 for Leung: replace Yau


Now that the Legislative Council’s environment panel has voted down funding for the proposed incinerator at Shek Kwu Chau, one of Leung Chun-ying’s first tasks as chief executive should be to remove Edward Yau Tang-wah from the position of environment minister.

The name of the Environmental Protection Department is inappropriate.

It has allowed our air quality to deteriorate and wasted millions planning a giant incinerator that would have worsened air pollution and trashed an area of unspoilt countryside.

There has been much talk about how Mr Leung needs to earn the support of the civil service and the public. Hong Kong has lacked leadership in recent years, and a leader gains support by earning respect. He must very publicly replace the under-achievers who are at present cluttering up our civil service.

This would put much needed accountability and fear of retribution into our cosseted bureaucrats and, at the same time, win instant support from the city’s frustrated citizens.

Mr Yau, in particular, has wasted years dithering over an unenforceable ban on idling engines while ignoring pollution, environmental degradation and waste disposal.

We have become a laughing stock, with stories running in the international press portraying the SAR as the world’s dirtiest financial centre, which produces more rubbish per capita than anywhere on earth.

Yau and others remind me of the department head in the British comedy television series Yes Minister: “My department is not expected to do things; we are just here to explain why things cannot be done.”

R. E. J. Bunker, Lantau

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