Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau Tak-wah has thrown his support behind an idea to reclaim 2,200 hectares of land for housing to the east of Lantau Island, in a new video by the think tank that proposed the plan, Our Hong Kong Foundation.
“If there’s lots of new land in Hong Kong, we’ll have more space to build public houses and facilities. Grass roots do not have to wait so long to improve their lives. The new land will also create new entrepreneurial space, different types of jobs and bring more job opportunities,” Lau said in the 3½ minute-long video.
The think tank is led by Hong Kong’s first chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, and last month, it proposed building an artificial island that would be half the size of Kowloon and twice that of the East Lantau Metropolis the government plans to build in 20 years’ time.
The think tank’s proposed artificial island would house 1.1 million people in 250,000 to 400,000 flats, easing the city’s accumulated housing shortfall. It would be the city’s third commercial hub after Central and Kowloon East as it would be well connected with roads and railways to both Hong Kong Island and Tuen Mun in the New Territories, according to the foundation.
The entire project would take 14 years with the first phase of construction completed in 11 years.
Reclamation options are featured among the 18 potential suggestions to create more land for Hong Kong’s housing and economic needs, in a five-month public consultation exercise by a government-appointed committee that ended last month.
Reclamation will be a highlight of the housing strategy Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is set to unveil in her policy address next Wednesday. Lam, her top adviser Bernard Chan, former Planning Department head Ling Kar-kan and Hopewell Holdings chairman Gordon Wu Ying-sheung have said they support Our Hong Kong Foundation’s suggestion.
But green groups have raised concerns on its impact on the natural environment.
In the video, Lau said: “I know when talking about land reclamation, there are many different opinions. But is there really a one hundred per cent perfect plan? If we want to Hong Kong to move forward, making choices is inevitable. Choose a direction that is best for Hong Kong and go for it,” Lau said.
Asked why he decided to make the video, Lau told the Post: “Hong Kong is short of land. I happen to know Our Hong Kong Foundation and East Lantau Metropolis. After knowing more about it, I think the plan is a positive and practical option. So I volunteered to do the voice-over.”
This article Hong Kong star Andy Lau voices support for land reclamation in promotional video first appeared on South China Morning Post