Policy Address 2020

Society

Policy Address 20/21: Carrie Lam introduces a scheme to fight youth unemployment but students are hesitant amidst Hong Kong-Mainland political unrest. 

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: LAMA Sumnima Rani、AMALVY Esten Carr Claude Ole EriksenEdited by: Cherry Lee
  • 2020-11-25

In Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's fourth policy address today, she addressed Hong Kong's growing unemployment rate and introduced a new scheme that will open up to 2,000 places, of which some are innovation and technology positions, in the Great Bay Area for postgraduate students.  The Greater Bay Area consists of 9 cities in China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau to create a megalopolis. With aims to increase cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau and promote economic development.  The city's unemployment rate hit 6.4% this year, the highest it has been in 16 years according to government statistics. Especially among the youth, according to trending economics, as of September 2020, youth unemployment has skyrocketed to a staggering 12.10%.  In order to combat this worrying trend, the Hong Kong Government will introduce as part of the Greater Bay Area expansion process a new scheme officially called "The Greater Bay Area Youth Development Scheme". In hopes that Hong Kong graduates will apply and receive career opportunities in the Great Bay Area.  "Personally, I won’t work or get a job in the Mainland," said Tommy Mo, a student at Hong Kong Baptist University. He expresses his concerns about the National Security Law and the repercussions that he might face for being vocal with his political views on the CCP on social media platforms.  Mr Mo isn’t the only one to hold such opinions, 70% of Hong Kong’s youth said that they would prefer to keep their distance from mainland China and 60% were not a fan of the Greater Bay Area and that it would bring “more harm than good”, according to media reports on a survey conducted by Hong Kong Guangdong Youth Association in January.  Alice Lam Hoi-Yan, another student at HKBU expressed similar concerns but thought the …

Health & Environment

Policy Address 20/21: Lantau island reclamation: Hong Kong hiker fears "backyard garden" be gone forever

Johnny Wong remembers every detail of the day trip with his family 30 years ago to Tung Chung - the farmlands and ditches, the taste of the chips he got from the tuck shop and shared with his sisters and the Chinese restaurant where they ordered a corn and fish maw soup and steamed fish.  The 41-year old cultivated a passion for hiking when he was young and has been an eco guide since 2004 and a geopark guide since 2010. Four years ago, he published a book on mountains and trails. "Every time you hike, you feel like you're at home. You can unburden your emotions and feel relieved and absorb positivity," he said, adding that nature has comforted him when he was laid off or had troubles in his career.  But now Tung Chung is a sprawling complex of housing and airport infrastructure. A similar story might repeat for Mr Wong's 4-year old daughter, he said, who had a glance of the unbounded ocean and sky of Peng Chau when her parents took her on a trip there. But the view she will see in 15 years will be different if the government carries on with its ambitious development plan called Lantau Tomorrow Vision.  The plan will build housing on 1,000 hectares of reclaimed land, equivalent to one-third the size of Kowloon, around the tiny, undeveloped island of Peng Chau, just off the coast of Lantau Island. The proposal is estimated to cost HK$624 billion and will take at least 15 years. The first phrase can provide up to 260,000 flats in a bid to seek new land supply to combat long-lasting housing problems. The project also aims to build the "third Core Business District."   "There will be buildings," Mr Wong said, pointing at the water encircled by …

Society

Policy Address 20/21: Professional Teachers' Union is skeptical of Carrie Lam's national security education plan

The government is working on plans to enhance national security education, Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng yuet-ngor said in the Policy Address 2020, given that students arrested under the social unrest lacked "law-abiding awareness" and failed to have "positive values " such as mutual respect and understanding.  However, the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union, the largest representative body for teachers in the city, disagreed with Mrs Lam's characterization of the arrested students and expressed doubt about the vague content of her plan. Around 2,000 of the 10,000 people arrested for protests last year were primary and secondary school students. "The social unrest in the past year involved people from different walk of life. There's no evidence that children are particularly being mobilised by someone,"  Fung Wai Wah, the president of HKPTU said. Instead of accusing students for a  lack of correct values, he said,  Lam should  "review" her governance and "rectify" the mistakes. As for the national security education plan, Mr.Fung said although this plan can help improve students' awareness of the rule of law, he was sceptical due to the vagueness of the statement. He added that the initiative depends on the content that is going to be taught.  In the policy address, Mrs Lam also reiterated that the Department of Justice will implement a ten-year-initiative called  "Vision 2030 for Rule of Law", which includes educating urban youth to understand the rule of law and promote "law-abiding awareness". The initiative comes after two teachers were disqualified after a primary school teacher from Alliance Primary School in Kowloon Tong. One was accused of teaching materials that were supporting independence, and another primary school teacher from Ho Lap Primary School in Tsz Wan Shan was deregistered due to teaching a distorted history of the Sino-British opium war.  This initiative …

Business

Policy Address 20/21: Carrie Lam rolls out real estate measures, limited impact expected for most

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: TUNG Yi Wun、CHEN BingyiEdited by: SamuelMo、ShukmanSo
  • 2020-11-25

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced a series of long term housing measures on relieving the financial burden of enterprises and boosting housing supply, as announced in her 4th policy address today. Mrs Lam said that the double stamp duty on non-residential property transactions would be revoked from tomorrow, 26 November to benefit the property owners immediately. The measure is expected to facilitate the sale of non-residential properties to meet financial problems arising from the economic downturn. Hong Kong real estate experiences a contraction in the rental market this year, with the rent index decreased by 9.4% in September compared with the same period last year.  Brilliant Properties Limited, a small-scale property company is one of the suffering businesses in the pandemic. "Tenants could not afford the rent while owners are not willing to lower the price," said Cheuk Shik-kong, 60, owner of Brilliant Properties Limited. "Therefore, contracts were terminated," he added. Mr Cheuk also said, the overall revenue of his company has dropped by 30 to 40% compared to the figures last year. Much as the government would like to invigorate the real estate market with the abolishment of double stamp duty tax, property agencies considered it as an ineffective approach. "The impact will not be significant," said Lam Wai-cheung, 43, she has been working at Cheong Shing Property for three years. "I believe the measure will have certain effects on the buying and selling of stores but it will not be obvious until the pandemic comes to an end," she added. "Many buyers have the financial ability and intention to purchase commercial properties. What halts them from making the trade happen is not the price, but the pandemic situation," Ms Lam said. However, Li Ching, 55, a real estate agent at Cheong Shing Property, has a more …

Politics

Policy Address 20/21: The government is drawing up plans to strengthen national security education in the city

Young people will be educated in the rule of law, the Chief Executive said in her fourth policy address on Wednesday, as part of a 10-year initiative called "Vision 2030 for Rule of Law." "Targeted public education activities will be carried out to promote law-abiding awareness, while research and related data compilation will be conducted through collaboration with various stakeholders," she said. It is important to "enhance moral, civic and national education," including the constitution, the basic law and national security, she said, adding that citizens need a "sense of social responsibility and national identity, as well as an affection for Hong Kong and international perspective."  Part of the plan includes reforming the controversial Liberal Studies in public secondary schools, though no details on the reform were given, and having stricter regulation on teachers. A task force of locally and internationally renowned "experts" has been set up to advise the government on the plan, which was announced last year. The Financial Secretary earmarked about HK$450 million in the budget plan last year for the Department of Justice to implement the project. The Democratic Party responded in the afternoon criticising Mrs Lam for overthrowing the liberal studies system, which has been implemented for ten years in Hong Kong, saying that the government will promote "brainwashing national education" in the future. "The Democratic Party calls on all of our teachers and Hong Kongers to stick with our positions, letting our students be able to access comprehensive knowledge from different aspects, building up their ability of thinking critically and independently," Wong Pik-wan, spokesperson of the Democratic Party said at a press conference. "Anti brainwashing is becoming an important point for us in the coming future." In the past few months, the government has jumped into education to assess the professionalism of teachers, the …

Policy Address 20/21: New policy to help Hong Kong aviation industry set to crash, insiders say

  • 2020-11-25

Hong Kong will invest in the Zhuhai airport to increase cooperation, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said in the policy address on Wednesday, though more details on how it will happen have yet to be disclosed. Airline industry employees say this will not help to alleviate the financial problems in the industry.  The investment by the Airport Authority, which has been managing the Zhuhai airport since 2006, is part of President Xi Jinping's "dual circulation" scheme to boost the Greater Bay Area competitiveness and economy.  "By integrating the mainland aviation network of the Zhuhai Airport with the international network of the Hong Kong International Airport, it would strengthen the competitive edge of the entire GBA in aviation," Mrs. Lam said.  Persuasive as it might sound, professionals in the aviation industry said otherwise.  "This is putting the cart in front of the horse to ameliorate the pressure on the aviation industry. It may add competitiveness to the Greater Bay Area aviation industry but it certainly doesn't help struggling workers in the aviation sector," said  Queenie Tse, the former Hong Kong Airlines Human Resources manager.  She added that the collaboration seemed to be a marketing tactic for Zhuhai International Airport instead of helping airline workers who are struggling to make ends meet in Hong Kong.   The Hong Kong Airport handled around 72 million passengers in 2019 while Zhuhai Airport had only around 10 million passengers in 2018. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, the number of passengers travelling by air to and from Hong Kong has plunged dramatically.  According to the Hong Kong International Airport statistics, the number of passengers arriving in the city dropped from more than 70 million in 2019 to around 8 million in 2020. Mrs. Lam said she discussed the move with the central government on her …

Politics

LIVE: Hong Kong Policy Address 2020

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: LI Chak Ho Samuel、Shameel IbrahimEdited by: SamuelMo
  • 2020-11-25

Live Coverage of the Hong Kong Policy Address, Nov 25 2020 1:20pm: Carrie Lam said, last year she has faced the toughest challenges in all her 40 years of public service.  This concludes the live coverage of Hong Kong Policy Address 2020, the longest policy address on record. Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage on our website and social media platforms.  #CarrieLam says she has faced the toughest challenges in all her 40 years of public service, the last year. #PolicyAddress2020 @hkbutyr — Simran Vaswani (@Simran_TYR) November 25, 2020 TYR on social media: Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/hkbutyr/ Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/hkbutyr/?hl=en Twitter: https://twitter.com/hkbutyr 1:16pm: The Hong Kong government will provide HK$300 million to address the city's growing mental health issues. Mrs. Lam said that the government will spend 300 million dollars to better support and raise public mental health awareness@hkbutyr #PolicyAddress2020 — Janice Lo (@janicelo_cl) November 25, 2020   1:10pm: More than 2000 teenagers have been arrested in the past social movement. In view of this, Carrie Lam said students need to develop a better sense of national belonging and moral development.   More than 2000 teenagers were arrested in the past social movement. In view of this, Carrie Lam said students need to have more sense of national belonging and moral development. #policyaddress @hkbutyr — Yetta Lam (@yetta0621) November 25, 2020 1:08pm: Carrie Lam says more languages regarding information from the Hong Kong Observatory will be available for ethnic minorities living in the city. 1:04 pm Carrie Lam says information on the Hong Kong Observatory will include several more languages for readability by ethnic minorities in the city. #PolicyAddress2020 @hkbutyr — Simran Vaswani (@Simran_TYR) November 25, 2020 1:06pm: Carrie Lam is delivering the policy address in the Legislative Council chamber Photo: Eunice Lam 1:02pm: Two museums in the West Kowloon Cultural District — M+ Museum and …