Hong Kong leader under pressure to deliver ‘big bang’ measures at policy address

Hong Kong’s embattled leader is facing tremendous pressure to meet public expectations on her policy address next week amid a continuing protest crisis as insiders revealed that officials were struggling to come up with impactful “big bang” measures.

The revelations came as sources confirmed that contingency plans were in place for Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s annual speech to be delivered through a recorded video message, as the Legislative Council meeting next Wednesday could be cancelled if protesters laid siege to the chamber.

Sources also said housing and social welfare initiatives were likely to be key planks of Lam’s third policy blueprint. Housing measures would include another push for a starter-home scheme she launched two years ago and a limited resumption of the Tenants Purchase Scheme to help public housing tenants own their homes.

Insiders also hinted that Lam had considered more eye-catching moves, such as reducing the number of mainland Chinese relocating to Hong Kong under the so-called one-way permit scheme to appeal to residents weary of new immigrants. But in the end, she decided not to go ahead with the move.

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