1. LegCo Panel on Development visited Tung Chung East Reclamation Site
As Chairman of the Panel on Development, I led the members to visit the Tung Chung East Reclamation Site on 1 April to learn about the progress of the reclamation works. Representatives of the engineering team explained that the Deep Cement Mixing (DCM) method adopted in the works not only could minimize the impact on water quality and marine ecology in nearby waters, but also take a shorter time than the traditional method to complete the reclamation works, which could effectively expedite the supply of new land. Members also boarded the barge to observe the operation of DCM method and the progress of the reclamation works. The Tung Chung East reclamation works is expected to be completed within 2023. A total of 130 hectares of reclaimed land will be used for the Tung Chung New Town Extension.
2. Supports to approval by Standing Committee of National People's Congress of amended Annex I and Annex II to Basic Law
On 30 March, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress approved the amended Annex I to the Basic Law on Method for the Selection of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Annex II to the Basic Law on Method for the Formation of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and its Voting. The amendments improve the electoral system of the HKSAR, thereby establishing a political structure that upholds the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, reflects the actual situation of Hong Kong and ensures "patriots administering Hong Kong".
3. Raised a question on employment market
On 17 March, I raised a written question at LegCo and asked the Government whether it has assessed the short-term and long-term impacts of the epidemic on the local employment market and whether it will introduce more facilitation measures to attract innovation and technology talents to come to Hong Kong for career development. The Government replied that it will launch the Global STEM Professorship Scheme to strengthen support for the universities to attract world-renowned I&T scholars; it has also extended the eligibility of the Research Talent Hub, allowing holders of a bachelor or master degree in a STEM-related discipline awarded by a well-recognised non-local institution to join the Hub. For my question and the Government’s reply, please view the following link:
4. Raised a question on new railway projects
On 24 March, I raised a written question and asked the Government about the delay in the implementation of railway projects of the Tuen Mun South Extension of the West Rail and the Northern Link and Kwu Tung Station. I also asked the latest progress of the implementation of the proposal for establishing the Railways Department under the Transport and Housing Bureau. The Government replied that railway projects set out in the Railway Development Strategy 2014 will be subject to the outcome of detailed engineering, environmental and financial studies relating to each project. The Government will seek the approval of the Finance Committee in the 2021-22 legislative session to establish the Railways Department in the 2022-23 financial year. For my question and the Government’s reply, please view the following link:
5. Building Drainage System Repair Subsidy Scheme
I have been concerned about the management and sanitation of old buildings, especially the "three-nil buildings”, and have repeatedly urged the Government to actively provide assistance. At the meeting of Panel on Development on 23 March, the Government briefed members on the proposal to launch the “Building Drainage System Repair Subsidy Scheme” (DRS) with a nonrecurrent commitment of $1 billion. It is expected the funding scheme would benefit owners of over 3000 old and dilapidated domestic buildings in repairing and/or upgrading the drains of their buildings. Subject to passage of the Appropriation Bill 2021, the Government plans to launch the DRS in May 2021.
6. Funding projects approved in the PWSC and the FC
On 19 March, the FC approved a funding request of $1.6 billion for providing funding to the Ocean Park Corporation to support its operation and implementation of the future strategy for Ocean Park. On 26 March, a funding proposal of $15 billion for introducing a new 100% Personal Loan Guarantee Scheme was approved to providing 100% guarantee for concessionary low-interest loans taken out by eligible borrowers.
On 24 March, the PWSC approved a funding project of $44.2 billion of the West New Territories landfill extension to meet the waste disposal needs of Hong Kong in the short to medium term. Another project of $4.7 billion was also approved to upgrade West Kowloon transfer station and Island West and Island East transfer stations on the same day. The projects together with the others would be forwarded to the FC for final funding approval.