Visitors take photos of Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong, July 14, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
The SAR government and community leaders praised a call by an alliance of political, social and business groups for Hong Kong society to work together to defeat COVID-19 and help put the city back on a path to prosperity and stability.
In a statement on Sunday, a 42-member coalition put forth ideas aimed at beating the pandemic, reviving the economy and helping people in need.
The suggestions include: creating a public-health QR code system that can be used by residents across the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area; initiating a policy reform to increase land supply; building more platforms to help fresh graduates with their careers; and developing infrastructure projects to create jobs.
Members of the alliance include the Hong Kong Coalition, Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, Hong Kong United Youth Association, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, and several pro-establishment political parties such as the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.
A government spokesman welcomed the joint statement. In a statement released Monday morning, the spokesman stressed that under the great challenges, all Hong Kong people should discard their differences and work with one heart to fight against the virus and to help Hong Kong overcome difficulties so that the city can start afresh for a new future.
The development of Hong Kong over the past few decades demonstrates that new opportunities emerge in every crisis, the spokesman said in a statement.
Professor Wong Yuk-shan, president of the Open University of Hong Kong, said the joint statement sent a positive message to the community.
"These organizations are trying to unite the people from different walks of life — different commercial and industrial organizations, and different groups of people — under one roof so that they will fight for the future well-being of Hong Kong society," he said."I think that's a good move."
Wong said the proposals in the statement are "balanced" for the future development of Hong Kong: They not only have eyes on the current battle against COVID-19, but also put forward suggestions to resolve fundamental issues such as housing and the scarcity of land.
Former Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying also voiced support for the statement on his social media platform. "It's time for the city's 'political fever' to subside," he wrote.
Leung said that politics and "meaningless disputes" have occupied Hong Kong over the past year and victimized the city's economy and people's livelihoods. He called on members of society to actively share their ideas for the city's development.