Date
15 December 2018
Chief Executive Carrie Lam is said to be busy preparing the annual work report for her Beijing superiors.  The report is expected to focus on land and housing issues, including a proposal to tap the Fanling golf course for public housing. Photo: HKEJ/CNSA
Chief Executive Carrie Lam is said to be busy preparing the annual work report for her Beijing superiors. The report is expected to focus on land and housing issues, including a proposal to tap the Fanling golf course for public housing. Photo: HKEJ/CNSA

Fanling golf course option seen as way out for Carrie Lam

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is scheduled to visit Beijing next month, probably between Dec. 16 and 18, to report to state leaders on her job.

Lam is said to be busy preparing the annual work report she will submit to her Beijing superiors. And although she is not expected to make public the contents of her report, it is almost certain that it will focus on land and housing issues.

Meanwhile, the Task Force on Land Supply is also preparing its final report on the findings of its five-month public consultation on land supply.

According to a media report citing a source, the task force, in the latest draft of the report, would suggest that the government take back only a part of the Fanling golf course for public housing development.

Stanley Wong Yuen-fai, chairman of the task force, on Tuesday declined to confirm the media report.

All he revealed to us is that the task force is now doing a qualitative analysis of the views gathered during the public consultation, and that hopefully the report would be ready and submitted to the administration by the end of December.

A source has noted, however, that members of the task force are yet to vote on the issue.

As meetings of the task force are getting more frequent, and members may not be able to attend all of them, any suggestion as to the fate of the Fanling golf course that has come light can at best represent only the views of certain members and cannot be the final decision of the entire team, the source said.

With regard to recent talk that three official members of the task force, including Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun, didn’t oppose the suggestion of tapping into the Fanling golf course to build new homes, the source said the fact that they aren’t against it doesn’t necessarily mean they are for it.

The government has already made it clear that official representatives on the task force would take a backseat to the 22 non-official members when it comes to expressing their views.

Meanwhile, given that the “Lantau Tomorrow Vision” has received a lot of bad press and provoked huge skepticism since it was unveiled, some people in government believe that it would be very difficult for the administration to allay public concerns about government-business collusion if it insists on not taking back at least part of the Fanling golf course.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov 28

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

JC/CG

Columnist of Hong Kong Economic Journal.

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