Housing top policy priority

Local | Sophie Hui 23 Sep 2019

Housing and land supply will be among the top priorities in the policy address next month, Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung revealed.

In a blog posting yesterday, he wrote that the Youth Development Commission held a special meeting on housing last week in which members identified housing and land supply as being the most challenging social problems in Hong Kong.

Cheung told the members the government is determined to tackle the supply woes.

His posting came after pro-establishment parties, including the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, weighed in on the issue as the upcoming policy address drew nearer.

They urged the government to use the Lands Resumption Ordinance to reclaim sites in the New Territories.

Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun was said to have responded positively to their recommendations.

Cheung also asked parents to stop children engaging in protest-related violence.

He wrote that Commission on Children members expressed worried in a tea gathering last week that recent social events would affect children's physical and psychological health.

Members said some parents brought their children along to protests, while other children have seen violent clashes in news reports or on social media.

As a result, they may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or think it is all right to commit the violent acts they have witnessed. They may also develop mistrust and hatred toward certain types of people.

"Children need to be protected by adults, and every adult has the responsibility to protect children. I appeal to everyone to give priority considerations in the best interests of children," Cheung wrote.

He stressed that the government hopes the situation in Hong Kong calms down soon, and that sincere dialogue will replace confrontation and rebuild trust.

Meanwhile, the education sector called on parents to engage in rational dialogue with their children.

Eva Lau Yi-hung, an associate professor of early childhood education at the Education University of Hong Kong, said parents should be prepared for differences in opinions when talking to their children.

They should let their children know that there are different opinions in society, but the important thing is whether they can listen to opposing views calmly and objectively.

Separately, about 50 parents marched from Chater Garden in Central to the central government offices in Admiralty yesterday.

They urged the Education Bureau to prevent politics from causing problems in schools.

They also called on the government to regulate liberal studies teaching materials, and implement national education as soon as possible.

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