Policy Address a ruinous gamble, pan-dems say - RTHK
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Policy Address a ruinous gamble, pan-dems say

2020-11-25 HKT 17:09
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  • Policy Address a ruinous gamble, pan-dems say
  • ... but the DAB party says the policy blueprint has addressed some of Hong Kong's most deep-seated problems, such as its housing shortage. Photo: RTHK
    ... but the DAB party says the policy blueprint has addressed some of Hong Kong's most deep-seated problems, such as its housing shortage. Photo: RTHK
Opposition lawmakers on Wednesday blasted Carrie Lam’s latest Policy Address as a gamble that will ruin Hong Kong, while their pro-establishment rivals welcomed the new policy blueprint as a ‘comprehensive’ one that addresses some of Hong Kong’s most deep-seated problems such as housing and youth employment.

Most of the pan-dems are formally leaving Legco next month after resigning en masse earlier this month in protest of Beijing’s disqualification of four of their colleagues.

None attended Lam’s speech, but gave a withering review of it afterwards to reporters outside the Legco building.

“She bet on the future of Hong Kong on the Greater Bay Area and the mainland economy,” Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai said, complaining that Lam's policies are overly reliant on the mainland.

“That will ruin the international city of Hong Kong. What Carrie Lam has done is basically… the future of Hong Kong can only rely on the development of the mainland economy, the Greater bay Area. She neglected the changes in international relationship. The whole Policy Address is taking Hong Kong towards a wrong direction,” he said.

Jeremy Tam of the Civic Party criticised Lam’s vow to press ahead with a huge reclamation project off Lantau, saying she should instead focus public resources on reviving the economy, improving people’s livelihood and tackling the pandemic.

Outgoing education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen, meanwhile, blasted the CE for her ‘unfounded’ criticism of teachers, saying there is no evidence that they helped incite last year’s anti-government unrest.

He also said it’s “extremely regrettable” that Lam blamed the people of Hong Kong for the protests, but did nothing to reflect on her administration’s shortcomings.

Pro-government parties, however, cheered Lam’s new policy blueprint, with the DAB saying it’s ‘thrilled’ to hear that the administration has apparently now identified all the land it needs to satisfy Hong Kong’s demand for public housing in the next decade.

Lawmaker Horace Cheung did call for more details on Lam’s assurances that officials have now found enough land for 316,000 new public flats.

“We don’t know the details, like how the government will implement or carry out the policy when they say that they have sufficient land for public housing in the next 10 years. And whether we can keep the three-year promise for the public housing applicants to get the public housing, that is the big question for the government to answer”, he said.

The leader of the Liberal Party, Felix Chung, praised Lam’s blueprint for addressing many of Hong Kong’s most pressing problems, including a lack of opportunities for young people.

“I think the overall policy address is very positive. It’s pretty comprehensive,” he said, noting that a proposed subsidy scheme would help local graduates find work in the Greater Bay Area.

Executive councilor and chairwoman of the New People’s Party, Regina Ip, said the address was “rich in content”, with a clear blueprint for long term development.

She was especially pleased that Lam had adopted her party’s proposal for the administration to scrap the planned creation of new senior civil service posts as a cost-saving measure.