Motion on “Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No.5) Bill 2018” (2018.11.14)

MR CHAN KIN-POR (in Cantonese): Initially, I had no intention to speak. But after hearing Dr KWOK Ka-ki wagging his tongue so irresponsibly in his speech, I have no choice but to return to the Chamber and respond to him. Unfortunately, Dr KWOK has already left the Chamber. For one thing, he mentioned my name in his speech. More importantly, he asserted that the Lantau Tomorrow Vision would be a big disaster, which is pure nonsense. As mentioned in our recent debate on the issue, even if the Lantau Tomorrow Vision manages to gain the green light in the preliminary studies and is implemented, the relevant works will span over 10 years. As I said before, this is a fact comprehensible even to a small kid.

Even if the works of Lautau Tomorrow Vision costs $1,000 billion, the proceeds from the phased land sales will likely far exceed $1,000 billion in total. By my estimation, the Government can even make a profit of hundreds of billions of dollars. Proceeds from land sales aside, the construction costs would be paid in instalments, which is a commonly known fact that has been covered widely by the media. I guess Dr KWOK Ka-ki knew that but insisted on denying the fact all the same. While all the reports have highlighted that the relevant costs would be spread over years, he still claimed that in costing tens of billions of dollars a year, the project would be an utter disaster and a huge burden on the next generation, etc. With Dr KWOK Ka-ki talking black into white, making exaggeration with no compunction and spewing nonsense in his speech, you, Deputy President, actually allowed him to go on for so long―albeit with several reminders issued to him in the process as I have heard. I guess his speech, lasting over ten minutes and with eight to nine minutes devoted to conveying these false messages to the public, was delivered with self-righteous eloquence to boot. How can I help not answering back.

I appreciate the tall challenge of presiding over this Council. You requested a Member to come back to the question under debate, but he strayed from it soon after; you made the same request again, he strayed from the subject right away, which is indeed not easy. However, as a responsible Member, I must speak up. I hope members of the public who have listened to his speech just now will purge that crap out of their minds. What he said is not only untrue, but ridiculously wrong.

Let me repeat the prevailing view in society and reiterate here that even if the Government implements the Lantau Tomorrow Vision with an actual cost of $1,000 billion, the relevant proceeds from land sales, for one thing, will undoubtedly top $1,000 billion, bringing a profit of hundreds of billions of dollars at the very least. Moreover, since the relevant reclamation works will be undertaken in phases, the scale of reclamation can be 1 700 hectares, or 1 000 hectares, and its pace can be accelerated or slowed down as we gradually take forward the project in the light of the economic condition.

During the Question Time just now, the Secretary for Development clearly stated that the Government began planning for brownfield sites back in 2008. It is already 2018 now. The development of brownfield sites has yet taken off, even though the relevant compensation packages have already been approved by the Finance Committee. It is thus evident that the development of brownfield sites, and that of agricultural lands for that matter, can easily take 20 years. In contrast, this reclamation project takes only 10-odd years and will …

DEPUTY PRESIDENT (in Cantonese): Mr CHAN Kin-por, I must remind you that since I know Dr KWOK Ka-ki had perhaps seized on this debate as a pretext to expound his own ideas in his speech just now, I have given you nearly two and a half minutes to respond to him. However, the question of this debate concerns the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 5) Bill 2018 (“the Bill”). Please focus your speech on the Bill.

MR CHAN KIN-POR (in Cantonese): Alright, Deputy President, I now come back to the question. I support the Bill. But on the other hand, I must rebut the allegations made by a Member who advances sophistry―especially in a speech where my name was mentioned―and give a response. What I wish to respond is that, financially, the Lantau Tomorrow Vision is nothing like what Dr KWOK Ka-ki painted just now. This is very important.

Secondly, he also mentioned the Finance Committee, claiming that the relevant funding application, which has yet to be submitted to it, has already gained my approval. Let me reiterate the remarks I made some time ago. What I meant is that since the amendment of the Finance Committee procedure, the deliberation on a funding application, however complicated, will take no more than 20 hours. As I have said before, it takes only 10-odd hours to vet and approve even the most complicated funding application. I was only stating the facts. I hope he can refrain from getting us tangled repeatedly in his own misconceptions. Besides, he made an opportune escape―knowing full well that I was returning to the Chamber―instead of staying behind and listening to my speech. I find such behaviour utterly irresponsible.

Deputy President, instead of making things difficult for you and delaying the proceedings of this Council, I have spoken only in the hope that members of the public will distinguish the right from the wrong when listening to Members’ speeches, since too many of them are telling lies.

Thank you, Deputy President.

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