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The Buck Stops Here

United States President Harry S Truman once said, "The buck stops here."

Making decisions inevitably causes controversies and offends people. Therefore, in order to play "good guys", many people would shirk their responsibilities to others and are reluctant to make decisions even though they are entrusted with powers and responsibilities. This is called "passing the buck". This situation is very common in large organisations. The larger an organisation is, the more people there are and the more controversial the issues are, the more people tend to pass the buck to others. President Truman, as head of the huge American bureaucratic system, certainly had a deep understanding of it.

The saying "The buck stops here" also applies in Hong Kong. As head of the Government, I cannot shirk my responsibilities even if I have to face controversies and offend people. There have been lots of examples in the past four years: the various land development projects, the recent controversies surrounding calls for Hong Kong's independence and oath-taking at Legislative Council, to name a few. It is easy to play "good guys", but it takes commitment and courage to play an unpopular role.

October 28, 2016