Monday, 9 September 2013

The Odd Man Out

Does Paul Chan Mo-po know country parks are off limits for development?
We wonder if Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po got the memo that as a senior member of the Leung Chun-ying government, he should be a team player and issue the same messages as everyone else?

Yesterday on his blog, Chan floated the idea of developing land on country parks to solve the housing crisis.

He wrote that during the various seminars he attended on this issue, "someone mentioned that 70 percent of Hong Kong's land is country parks, [and] in face of a shortage of land supply and a big housing demand... can they not be developed at all?"

Today his colleague Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing stated the city had no plans to do this.

Wong is reiterating a pledge his boss Leung made almost two years ago when he was running for chief executive, saying, "I attach great importance to green belt zones. They should be protected from development as far as possible".

When asked to comment about Chan's suggestion, Wong replied that Chan was only putting forward ideas from the community and that the government was open to new ideas.

We really have to wonder what planet Chan is from.

Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing sets the record straight
He doesn't seem to have done his homework on looking into how many disused government sites there are, including abandoned schools and hospitals. What about confiscating empty plots of purchased land that have not been developed after a certain period of time? Can he not do an extensive survey of these places around the city and figure out how they can be developed properly and in a cost-effective way?

Why does development have to equal disturbing the existing eco-system?

Chan seems to be the odd man out on this one -- but the real question is -- has his boss noticed?


  1. That golf course and governor's lodge in Fanling. They better get touched first before the country parks!

    1. They shouldn't even have to touch the golf course -- there are many "brown sites" in the city... the development minister is not being imaginative about places that can be redeveloped...

  2. Whilst I don't want the country parks to get built on either, a friend told me the government were considering creating new islands to build more developments on - surely this is more ecologically damaging? (not to mention hideously expensive)

  3. Hi littlekoo -- Yes the government is even considering building man-made islands... they really aren't looking hard enough for existing sites, of which you can see around town and in the New Territories.