Published: 12:08, June 13, 2023 | Updated: 17:04, June 13, 2023
CE: Northern Metropolis action plan to be completed by 2023
By Wang Zhan

Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu speaks to the media ahead of an Executive Council meeting on June 13, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)

HONG KONG – Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said on Tuesday that the newly-set up Northern Metropolis Coordination Office will complete an agenda and implementation plan of the development project within this year.

Speaking to the media ahead of a weekly Executive Council meeting, Lee said the establishment of the coordination office had showed the government’s determination to develop the Northern Metropolis.

“In order to break the bottleneck of land and housing supply, the development of the Northern Metropolis is of paramount importance, as the metropolis iteself is a major source of housing and land. It is also a major driving force of our econmoic development,” he said.

"I have tasked the coordiation office to formulate and announce within this year the action plan and initiative of the Northern Metropolis," Lee said.   

In order to break the bottleneck of land and housing supply, the development of the Northern Metropolis is of paramount importance, as the metropolis iteself is a major source of housing and land. It is also a major driving force of our econmoic development.

John Lee Ka-chiu, Chief Executive

The government would also announce details soon about the Pilot Scheme on Private Developer Participation in Subsidized Housing Development, the CE added.

“We will make use of the efficient market and the result-oriented government to achieve our goals by enhancing efficiency,” he said.

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Asked about taking back the 32 hectares of land in the Fanling golf course for development of public housing, he stressed this decision was made by the last-term government, which had collected both supporting and opposing views beforehand.

“In any event, the 32 hectares of land in the golf course will be resumed in September according to the existing plan,” he said, adding that the government would handle the whole matter in accordance with the statutory process.

The CE also stressed that international golf tournaments would not be affected as the land would be open to the public and, if necessary, made available for tournament organizers, including parking, promotion, and reception.

Decisions and recommendations would be made by the Town Planning Board and the government would proceed from them, he added.

Ban on protest song

Regarding the government’s legal action to seek an injunction on a protest song which is not compatible with the national interest, Lee said it was not appropriate to make any comment at this stage because he respected the judicial process.

"But what is very clear is one point that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has a duty and obligation to safeguard national security, and we should do it proactively and also preventively. This is why the government is taking this action. We will wait for the decision of the court," the CE said.

READ MORE: SAR seeks court injunction to ban advocating protest song

APEC meeting

On his attendance at the APEC inter-governmental forum in the United States in November, Lee said the organizers had the obligation to invite members to the meeting.

“Hong Kong, China is a member. We will follow the rule and practice in attending the APEC meeting,” said the CE, adding that APEC did not belong to any country or organization.