Lawmakers have said chief executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor lacks political wisdom because of her intervention in the current government’s scrap of the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA) on Tuesday.
Hong Kong’s new leader said asked the current administration if they could suspend this year’s Primary Three Basic Competency Assessment (BCA).
“Having the test this year is meaningless,” Lam said.
In response, incumbent chief executive Leung Chun-ying said this year’s BCA would not be cancelled. “Whether or not to cancel the assessment will be left to the next administration after July 1,” he confirmed.
Asked if she was embarrassed, Lam said: “If the current government thinks it is too difficult to suspend, I will respect its decision. I shall do what I can do for the next school year after I assume office.”
Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Wong Kwok-kin said Lam lacked political wisdom as she should have previously “liaised” with the current administration.
Polytechnic University political scientist Dr Chung Kim-wah said Leung’s decision not to reach a compromise with Lam appeared to demonstrate his authority in the next few years. “Leung’s rejection sent a clear message she should not intervene any policies in the current administration. He also lets Lam know he will to exert his power in the next administration,” said Leung, who was elected as the vice-chairman of the annual Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Beijing’s top political advisory body.
Chung was surprised of Leung’s move because previous chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was willing to negotiate.
Leung, who was the chief executive-elect in 2012, urged Tsang’s administration not to allow mainland women not married to a Hong Kong husband to give birth at private hospitals in 2013. Previous Secretary for Food and Health Dr York Chow Yat-ngok “promptly responded” and urged private hospitals to stop accepting 2013 bookings from pregnant mainlanders.
Lam Tai-fai, supervisor of Lam Tai Fai College and delegate to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, was extremely disappointed at Leung.
“[The current government] now pushes ahead a policy that will be scrapped several months later by the next government,” he said, adding it would only confuse students, parents and schools.
The TSA was suspended last year amid fierce public opposition, and is being replaced by the BCA test, which critics say is not much different.