Schools urged for border area
Hong Kong could develop international schools for Shenzhen students at the border to better tap the economic potential of the region, according to a legislator.
Tam Yiu-chung, who also sits on the Executive Council, said it would be a waste for the Government to keep the border area closed to the public.
'We should, for example, establish international schools in the border area and take in students from Shenzhen to cater for their wish for high-quality education, as well as bring more money into Hong Kong,' he said.
Mr Tam was speaking at a Legco panel meeting on a government blueprint for land use in the next 30 years.
Opening up the border area for development is one idea in the paper Hong Kong 2030: Vision and Strategy, published for consultation.
Other ideas include the establishment of a land plan, redevelopment of industrial buildings into housing and opening up reservoirs for recreation.
Some members criticised the plan for its failure to set aside enough residential and recreational facilities for the elderly.
Severely criticising the plan as 'lacking vision', non-affiliated member Abraham Razack said it would leave pensioners no choice but to move across the border as their needs had not been catered for.
'Old people have contributed to Hong Kong all their lives but when they become old, you do nothing but push them to retire across the border and wait for their deaths,' he said.
'You should plan for some old people's villages so their needs for good living places and recreation can be catered for.'
Principal Assistant Secretary for Planning and Lands Daniel Cheng Chung-wai denied the Government was trying to force the elderly to retire on the mainland.
Assistant Director of Planning Augustine Ng Wah-keung said the opening of the border was a 'complicated issue'.