Asked what her wishes were for the city’s future, the Chief Executive-elect said, “Looking ahead, fundamentally I want to ensure the continuing success of ‘One Country, Two Systems’. That means upholding our core values: the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, the freedoms that we enjoy. These principles are crucial for maintaining Hong Kong’s stability.” In relation to young people specifically, Mrs Lam talked about her days of campaigning. “What I heard from young people was their anxiety and despair,” she said. “Those feelings can be very damaging. Without hope, life becomes very depressing. I need to get to the root of the problem to understand better.”
During my election campaign, by interacting directly with youth, I learned a lot about how they felt.
Getting to the root of the problem While this might be a general phenomenon, Mrs Lam suggested that lack of hope for the future often comes from lack of opportunities. Therefore it becomes imperative to give young people more faith, both in Hong Kong and in the government, with tangible opportunities to succeed and prosper. How her government plans to do this is by working on clear policies to address specific areas that have a direct impact on young people. These are housing, education and economic development, all of which, as she went on to explain, are interconnected. “Look at property prices and wages today. Buying a home has become unaffordable, impossible for young people. Working out a policy that will allow them to own their own flat, not immediately, but in due course, is my foremost goal.” Education is so important, Mrs Lam said. “Hong Kong is a place without many natural resources and we have built our success on people. Now we need to improve educational opportunities, invest more in talent and produce the people to drive Hong Kong’s economy.”