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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS


Public consultation is a two-way flow of information and opinion exchange on undecided issues. Getting the public's participation and input during the formative stage of policies or implementation plans is a sign of good governance. Public consultation should not be a one-off process in knowing the needs and wants of the public at a specific time, but is an on-going process.

The democratic process may also raise the public's expectation of an administration's value delivery. An administration's legal duty or governance aside, certain members of the public might like to believe they have a say on certain public issues. If not properly managed (eg given them the due respect on their views), the process may shake confidence and can be counter-productive.

When the Hong Kong Basic Law Drafting Committee was consulting the public in the late 1980s, I suggested the establishment of a Constitutional Court - what I saw as an institutional solution interfacing Hong Kong's common law system and the Mainland's civil law system. But my suggestion was not even mentioned in the summary of submissions, frustrating the purpose and my goodwill.

Noting the 2018 Policy Address Public Consultation, I have today submitted my response - the value propositions stated in my blog post entitled "Brand Anew". I believe the "Fragrant Harbour" concept can bring Hong Kong forward. Its impact should be felt if the implementation plans are executed top-down with the right capacity and support, rather than myself doing it again bottom-up!

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