Future of municipal-level administration undecided, says home affairs chief

Authorities are currently reviewing its municipal-level administration and have yet to make a decision on its future, says Alice Mak Mei-kuen, Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs

Hong Kong’s municipal-level administration - the district councils are considered the city’s lowest tier of government, responsible for advising the government on matters affecting the well-being of local residents and the provision and use of public facilities and services in their areas.

These district bodies have been brought to a standstill after the mass resignation of district councilors last year after they were required to take loyalty oaths or be subject to disqualification.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the home affairs chief said the Basic Law stipulated that district organizations are not organs of political power.

She said any form of such organization must be broadly representative and be consulted by the government on district administration and other affairs.

Executive Council convenor Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said earlier that she wished the district councils would be brought back on track, or else no organizations would be able to follow up on district affairs such as environmental hygiene.

Responding to Ip’s comment, Mak said there are currently District Officers and Area Committees of the Home Affairs Department to handle district affairs. She also said there are District Fire Safety Committees to assist in authorities’ work.

She added that anyone with suggestions to improve authorities’ handling of district affairs is welcome to voice their opinion.