The Financial Secretary wants to be your friend

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John Tsang wants to be friends with you – Facebook friends, that is.

In anticipation of the 2015-2016 Budget this Wednesday, the Financial Secretary announced on his blog that he has started a Facebook account to “open another channel to interact with the public”.

Tsang posted on his blog yesterday, revealing that all his speeches and copies of the Budget have been printed before the address on Wednesday. He also said in his blog post that he was in the process of practicing for his speech and the following Q&A sessions.

The Big Reveal

You’ll be able to find his Facebook account here. Unfortunately, the Financial Secretary has likely reached the limit for friend requests, which is capped at 5,000. He currently has 411 approved friends. You can still follow his news feed, but you won’t be able to comment on his posts.

Tsang will deliver the upcoming Budget Speech at the Legislative Council on February 25, 2015 (Wednesday). The speech will be broadcast live from 11 am here. Media reports have suggested that the Budget will offer HK$20 billion worth of sweeteners due to a HK$60 million surplus for the 2014-2015 financial year.

The Financial Secretary seemed to be keeping expectations grounded during recent interviews, hinting that he will be looking to be prudent in anticipation of a structural deficit within the next ten years. He also joked that, just as he projected, the media’s projections of the Budget have been a little off.

Take that, Carrie!

Tsang is also apparently a fan of political films, recommending the movie, “Game Change” in his blog post. The 2012 HBO political drama, is based on the 2008 United States presidential election campaign, and focuses on events revolving Julianne Moore’s Sarah Palin, then Governor of Alaska. The Financial Secretary mentioned that scenes where Moore’s character was able to get through interviews by being a “human tape recorder” and simply reciting the same answers for all questions always gave him a chuckle.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, and several government officials, have recently been called  “human tape recorders” by some parties for merely repeating the same statements during interactions regarding political reform. Perhaps Tsang’s movie recommendation was a subtle dig towards his colleagues.

Tsang also stated his hopes for the establishment of the Innovation and Technology Bureau. He mentions his role as the Chairman of the Steering Committee on Innovation and Technology, saying the committee has offered invaluable advice to the government since its inauguration in 2004, some of which have already become policy.