Beijing points out housing problem, but offers no solution: Abraham Shek

Local | 14 Nov 2021 9:37 pm

Beijing pointed out Hong Kong's housing problem without offering solutions, former lawmaker Abraham Shek Lai-him said.

The 76-year-old Shek, the most experienced lawmaker who represented the real estate and construction sector for five terms, is leaving the Legco after 21 years as he will not seek reelection next month.

In a Commercial Radio interview on Sunday, Shek said Beijing officials highlighted livelihood issues in Hong Kong, especially the housing shortage.

Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office director Xia Baolong said Hong Kong should eliminate subdivided flats by 2049, while various officials visited residents of partition flats. 

Shek said: “They [central government officials] have raised the issues. But have they thought about how the [HK] government can solve them? Have they helped (Chief Executive) Carrie Lam or the Hong Kong government to solve the problems?

“All they said is that there are problems, there are problems, there are problems."

Shek said housing is not the only pressing issue Hong Kong citizens face. An average of 5,000 SAR elderly citizens died per year while queuing for elderly home places, he pointed.

“Did they (Beijing and Hong Kong officials) visit them? Did they reach out to them to learn about them?” he asked.

Shek, who holds a Bachelor's degree in Arts and a Diploma in Education from the University of Sydney in Australia, said many youngsters had their futures ruined in the social unrest during the anti-fugitive protests in 2019.

“When I was a university student, I had taken part in anti-Vietnam War protests. I was arrested many times. But I was lucky that I was not jailed.

“It was a different society. The society gave me a new chance. Those youngsters (arrested in recent years) should also be given a chance to turn a new leaf.”

Hong Kong should "forgive but not forget" social conflicts over the past several years while authorities should look into the actual causes and review the education system, he called.

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