Mak also argued that "retail space is often overlooked in land planning". Really? How come every single government proposal for the Wanchai-Central
Even more unreal is the People's Daily article arguing that Hong Kong needs more mainland immigrants for its economic development. Setting aside the article's (deliberate?) misquoting of Professor Chow Po-chung of CUHK, its statistics are highly questionable. The education level of new immigrants, it claims, is continuing to rise, with 17% now having received tertiary education against 28% of the existing Hong Kong population. However, this is an inappropriate comparison. The Hong Kong figure includes many old people now in their 70s. 80s and above who never had the opportunity for higher - or sometimes any - education. Since most new arrivals are in younger age groups, the appropriate comparison would be against the corresponding age groups in Hong Kong, and would certainly be far less favourable to the immigrants.
Much is being made of the need for more workers to support Hong Kong's growing elderly population, and the People's Daily suggests that the influx of new arrivals can help alleviate this burden. However, Hong Kong government figures show that the majority of these arrivals fall into low income groups, with over half seeking public housing, and a large percentage also seeking to receive social security. In other words, far from helping relieve the pressure on Hong Kong's beleaguered middle class, they are in fact adding to its burden. Furthermore, the percentage from provinces other than Guangdong is growing, meaning that their children need additional educational support to thrive in local schools.
Disclaimer: this article only presents statistical analysis for academic research purposes. I cannot suggest that pouring large numbers of lowly-skilled people into what is already one of the world's most crowded places may be a bad idea, in case I am accused of prejudice against them. (But it is.)