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Editorial : When can Hong Kong people apply for a job in mainland civil service?

【明報專訊】ANDY Tsang Wai-hung, former Commissioner of Police, has recently assumed the post of deputy director of the National Narcotics Control Commission, becoming the second person from Hong Kong after Laura Cha Shih May-lung — who was appointed vice-chairman at the China Securities Regulatory Commission — to assume a high position in a national agency. This not only shows the national government's trust in Hong Kong people but also sets a shining example of Hong Kong people serving the national government in reciprocation for what it has offered to Hong Kong, both of which are commendable. However, this is an exception rather than the norm, as there is still not a timetable for introducing policies that allow Hong Kong people to apply for a job in the civil service of China. In the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong is encouraged to be integrated into the master plan of national development. That integration should be all-encompassing. Why can't this start with allowing Hong Kong people to apply for a job in the civil service in the Greater Bay Area?

Hong Kong people have a right as well as responsibility to take part in the management of national affairs. As the national government trusts some Hong Kong people so much that it allows them to take up high-ranking positions in the central government, it should allow ordinary Hong Kong people to take part beginning from low down in the hierarchy. If they possess the ability and resolve, they can claw their way to higher managerial positions as well. It is true that the remuneration packages offered by the mainland and Hong Kong civil services are massively different, and a job in the mainland civil service is not a very attractive option to Hong Kong people. It is believed that there will not be many people who are eager for it, but at least it is an option that can be considered. In the outline development plan for the Greater Bay Area, the part devoted to arrangements for applying for a job in the civil service is located in the section "Expanding the Scope for Employment and Entrepreneurship". This is a way out for young people in Hong Kong when they are contemplating career choices. In fact, Hong Kong people taking part in the management of national affairs is very conducive to Hong Kong people's integration into the master plan of national development.

Back in the British colonial days, there were arrangements for civil servants to be seconded to British government departments. For example, Andy Tsang was seconded to the Metropolitan Police in London as a detective superintendent in 1993. This way of rotating a job helped government officials understand how policies were implemented in the other party and practise practical skills in implementing and promoting policies. It was advantageous in every way to the building of mutual understanding between officials and human connections. However, since Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty, there have not been arrangements for Hong Kong civil servants to be seconded to mainland government departments.

"A thousand miles' journey starts with the first step," as the saying goes. What can only be done now is to allow Hong Kong people to apply for jobs in the civil service on the mainland as soon as possible. This will allow interactions between mainland and Hong Kong civil servants to begin with Hong Kong's young people. This will also allow Hong Kong people to begin with a job in the civil service in the Greater Bay Area to take advantage of the area's construction. The remuneration packages of mainland civil servants might not be appealing to young people in Hong Kong. However, if, when the government recruits civil servants, it gives preference to people with experience in working in mainland government departments, it will arguably be opening up bigger room for development for young people in Hong Kong. The government requires applicants for the post of Administrative Officer to be permanent residents of Hong Kong. So, there is no need to be worried about the infiltration of the mainland. The added experience of working in a mainland government department is, to a young person, hard-earned experience. To the HKSAR government, it is a positive factor in the improvement of mutual communication and understanding.

明報社評2019.04.08:曾偉雄任職國務院 港人考內地公務員仍無期

香港警務處前任處長曾偉雄日前就任國家禁毒委員會副主任,這是繼查史美倫出任中國證監會副主席後,另一名港人在國家機關出任高職,反映國家對港人的信任,也是港人報效國家的典範,應該肯定。然而,這只是個別而且並非常態的做法,而允許港人報考國家公務員的政策,尚無推行的時間表。粵港澳大灣區建設鼓勵香港融入國家發展大局,應該是全方位的融入,何不從港人報考大灣區公務員開始?

港人參與國家事務的管理,既是權利,也是義務。國家既然信任個別港人在中央政府擔任高職,也應該讓普通港人從基層參與。如果他們有能力與魄力,也可以逐步登上更高層次的管理職務。誠然,目前內地與香港的公務員工資待遇差距懸殊,內地公務員作為職業對港人的吸引力還不算大,相信不會有很多人趨之若鶩,但起碼也是一個選擇。目前粵港澳大灣區規劃綱要,將報考公務員的安排,放在「拓展就業創業空間」的章節,這是給予香港年輕人職業選擇的一條出路。其實,港人參與國家事務的管理,對港人融入國家發展大局,十分有利。

在港英政府期間,香港的公務員也有到英國政府部門掛職的安排,曾偉雄在1993年借調英國倫敦警隊任偵緝警司兩年,這種公務員輪崗的做法,有利於官員了解對方的政策制定過程,及有執行推廣政策的實務鍛煉,而且對官員之間的互相了解交流和人脈關係的建立,可謂百利。然而,回歸之後,香港公務員卻沒有到內地政府部門掛職的安排。

千里之行始於足下,為今之計,是盡早讓港人考取內地公務員,讓內地與香港公務員之間的交流從香港年輕人開始做起,而且可以乘大灣區之東風,讓港人從考取大灣區公務員開始做起。內地公務員的工資水準,對香港年輕人或許不具吸引力,若特區政府在招聘公務員時,加上有內地政府部門任職經驗者優先錄用的條件,未嘗不可以為一些香港年輕人打開一片更大的空間。特區政府政務主任的招聘,有永久居民身分的要求,毋須擔憂內地的滲透,多一個內地政府任職的經驗,對年輕人來說是多了一種歷練,對特區政府來說,是加強互相溝通與了解的有利因素。

■Glossary

assume : to take or begin to have power or responsibility

remuneration : an amount of money that is paid to sb for the work they have done

rotate : if a job rotates, or if people rotate a job, they regularly change the job or regularly change who does the job

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