Checkley Sin, who became the first person to announce his intention to run in Hong Kong’s small-circle chief executive election last Wednesday, has proposed building a Lamma Island mega-prison to centralise all correctional institutions and release land for development, as part of his election manifesto.

The 65-year-old outlined his plans for the city’s future on his personal blog on Sunday, including halving the waiting time for public housing and solving issues such as subdivided flats, “cage homes” and homelessness within the next term of office.

Checkley Sin
Checkley Sin. Photo: Master Sin’s Forum, via YouTube screenshot.

Sin said “some artificial obstacles would have to be removed” for his proposals to materialise, including amending the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance, which limits reclamation in the waters of Victoria Harbour, and simplifying the urban planning process.

Another obstacle, according to Sin, was an “anti-rich sentiment” which ought to be “abandoned,” adding that people should not “blindly oppose cooperation with developers or villagers to develop land in the New Territories.”

Sin’s candidacy for the position of chief executive remains unofficial as the nomination period has not yet opened. It is expected to begin on February 15.

‘Faster than Lantau Tomorrow Vision’

Sin’s first suggestion was to flatten the hills on Lamma Island and use the soil obtained to reclaim land on the southwestern side of the island, which he estimated would provide about 150 hectares of land.

According to his plan, this would only take three years to complete and could free up 1,350 hectares. Sin also suggested constructing a bridge connecting Lamma to Hong Kong Island to provide more “immediately available” land.

“Compared to the Lantau Tomorrow Vision which would take 20 years or more to reclaim 1,700 hectares of land, it would be much faster,” his manifesto said.

Lantau Tomorrow Vision
Lantau Tomorrow Vision. Photo: GovHK.

Sin also proposed a “mega-prison” on Lamma Island to “concentrate all prisons and correction institutions in one place” and leave hundreds of hectares of land available in urban areas.

The Hong Kong leadership hopeful also suggested relocating all disciplinary forces training centres to Tsing Yi, while moving most of the cemeteries and columbaria to remote islands to release land in developed regions of the city.

Sin said that if the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance were amended, the waters between the old Kai Tak Airport and the Kwun Tong coastline could be developed within two years.

On top of broad land development proposals, Sin said he would finish national security legislation for Article 23 under the Basic Law within one year, as well as amending the ordinances on trade unions and societies during his term.

Sin said he would research legislation outlawing the publication of “false information” and “fake news,” while abiding by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Martial arts movies man

Sin is known for funding the popular martial arts Ip Man films and being the chair of a Hong Kong movie production company from 2010 to 2018.

Checkley Sin
Photo: Master Sin’s Forum, via Youtube.

In October 2019, Sin launched his own YouTube channel and Facebook page, posting political commentary with a clear pro-Beijing stance amid the anti-extradition bill protests and unrest.

As of Monday, his channel had over 158,000 subscribers.

In his announcement video published on Facebook and Chinese social media platform Weibo with simplified Chinese subtitles last Wednesday, Sin said he will “implement significant reforms to treat the root cause of Hong Kong’s disease.”

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Peter Lee is a reporter for HKFP. He was previously a freelance journalist at Initium, covering political and court news. He holds a Global Communication bachelor degree from CUHK.