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Hong Kong housing

A‘Hong Kong first’ solution for the housing crisis: use PLA land for flats

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 June, 2018, 9:03pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 June, 2018, 9:02pm

Michael Chugani is certainly right to point out that the best solution for the local housing problem is to put Hongkongers first (“How Hong Kong’s housing crisis can be solved by thinking like Donald Trump”, June 13).

Donald Trump has been brave enough to say no to the G7, the Paris climate deal and the Iran nuclear agreement, and to kick off a trade war with China. On the constructive side, the US president has had his summit with Kim Jong-un to resolve a 65-year-old problem left over from history.

“Trumplomacy” is unique, and surely he has caught thousands of politicians and observers by surprise. Trump is certainly a leader with a special gift. You may say he has his personality flaws but his intention is crystal clear: “America first”.

I agree with Mr Chugani, we can solve our housing problem if we adopt a similar policy. The Hong Kong government always claims we don’t have enough land. But Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and her ministers should take a ride from Sha Tou Kok to the other end of the border. They will say that we have far too much empty land.

‘Careless’ task force slammed for neglecting land that could hold 84,000 flats

Ms Lam, we can see thousands of high-rises on the other side of the border, while the land on our side is “underdeveloped”. In fact, we only need an extra 1,200 hectares of land for housing, but we have more than 2,700 hectares of military land.

‘PLA barracks are waste of resources and should be considered for Hong Kong’s land needs’

It has been reported that the Task Force on Land Supply originally planned to include the suggestion of using the 2,700 hectares of military land, but that was eventually dropped from the list of options. Therefore, Stanley Wong Yuen-fai’s public consultation exercise is thankless and redundant. Lam should have the courage to explain to the Beijing government the problem that we face, and seek its assistance.

As the Bible says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you”. Certainly President Xi Jinping will help.

Trump is a unique leader, since he can turn his ideas into action. In Hong Kong we also need a leader with imaginative ideas. We have two kinds of leaders in this world: transactional leaders and transforming leaders. We need a transforming leader to address problems from the root.

Lo Wai Kong, Yau Ma Tei