A former director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Lam Chiu-ying, said on Monday that if officials are hoping that planned artificial islands off Lantau will serve as a transport hub, they would be better off choosing Tsing Yi for this purpose.
"Certain people have argued that the artificial island will serve as a transport hub. But if you look at the map of Hong Kong, it is Tsing Yi island which is situated right at the centre of the Hong Kong territory," he said. "So you could have a built a transport hub on ... on a tiny piece of reclamation [near] the Tsing Yi island."
Lam, who is critical of the plan unveiled by Chief Executive Carrie Lam which aims to create a 1,700 hectare area off Lantau, said he is just making his views known and they are not directed against any project as such.
The former weather chief said his main purpose is to ensure that there is an informed decision if the government eventually goes ahead with its plan.
"My basic position is against the extremely large artificial island. But if the government really goes forward, I have to remind them that there are a number of things that they have to do, such as doing a proper financial analysis, properly evaluating the climate risk and developing a comprehensive programme regarding the establishment of a totally new community in a remote place," he said.
Lam said he was surprised by the large turnout at a protest against the reclamation plan on Sunday, with police estimating there were more than five thousand participants at its peak.
Lam told RTHK's Maggie Ho that he believes people are not only angry at the costly plan, which may bring irreversible ecological damages, but are also not convinced that the plan will bring home prices down.