Editorial : Concrete action needed to dispel doubts over vested interests

【明報專訊】DURING a Legislative Council question and answer session attended by Chief Executive Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, lawmakers raised concerns about the land and housing problems, especially whether the government is bold and resolute enough to defy the rich and powerful with a vested interest. Lam stressed repeatedly that what she did would be based solely on "the public interest". However, given the government's performance in dealing with the issue of granting land leases to private sports clubs as well as past controversies over "collusion between the government and the rich and powerful", citizens' doubt about the government is not unfounded. The land issue involves so many interests that the government needs not only political determination but also political energy to shake things up. As the government lacks both land reserves and wide political support, it has difficulty bargaining with the rich and powerful with a vested interest. To build up its bargaining chips, the government must make good use of the power of public opinion. Only by doing so can it overcome political resistance and safeguard the public interest.