Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Getting Something We Didn't Ask For

We may see a replica of this in Hong Kong in West Kowloon in a few years
There are a lot of questions as to why a HK$3.5 billion dollar replica of the Palace Museum is being added at the West Kowloon Cultural District.

The biggest question is why there isn't any public consultation over it -- do we really need a replica of the Forbidden City that's worth that much money? Or is this meant to be a subtle hint that Beijing isn't as far away as we think?

According to legislation on the arts hub it says: "the Authority shall, in relation to matters concerning the development or operation of arts and cultural facilities, related facilities, ancillary facilities and any other matters as the Authority considers fit, consult the public at such time and in such manner as it considers appropriate".

Carrie Lam says the project doesn't need public consultation
However, Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who is also chairwoman of the authority's board, said the project didn't need public consultation because it was run by the authority and not the government, and also it was being funded by the Jockey Club and didn't need Legislative Council approval.

Lam also lobbied every member of the board personally to get them on board the project -- which they only heard about last month.

One board member reported the project was already underway with architect Rocco Yim Sen-kee leading the project. You may remember him as the one who designed the relatively new government complex at Tamar.

Lam insinuates this project is not one that would go down well in a public consultation.

"It is very difficult to conduct a public consultation because it involves the central government and the related ministries," she said. "You can imagine that, if we were to ask the public if they wanted to have more exhibits from the Palace Museum more than half a year earlier, everyone should respond positively. But if more than half a year later, someone disagreed with it, it would be very embarrassing."

Civic Party's Tanya Chan Suk-chong and deputy chairwoman of the Legco panel monitoring the West Kowloon development, was unconvinced.

"Did she mean that public consultations must be avoided if opposition is expected?" Chan said.

The airport's air traffic control system hasn't been working well
But it sounds like this is the way things are being done in Hong Kong now -- tough, accountable questions are not being asked, let alone answered these days, which is why we have things like a newly installed air traffic control system worth HK$1.56 billion at Hong Kong International Airport not working properly, where planes disappear off radar screens for several seconds, and yet aviation officials insist this is not a risk to air safety.

So if air traffic control lose sight of a plane on their radar screens for 12 seconds, there isn't a problem?

And now we seem to be getting a replica of Beijing's Palace Museum whether we like it or not.

Welcome to the ongoing mainlandization of Hong Kong, or China's version of soft power.

Either way it's not very reassuring.


  1. What will be exhibited inside the replica museum -- replica or second-rate artifacts? After all, the best stuff belonging to the imperial court is in the Palace Museum in Taipei, not Beijing... ;S

    1. HI YTSL - Which is why I wonder how BIG this replica will be! They don't even look after their own items properly! It's quite empty because the vast majority is in Taiwan! Is it really worth HK$3.5B?

  2. the point is this museum is another white elephant that mainland companies (and its CCP owners) benefits more than the HK people.

    the CCP been after the reserves of HK for years after 1997 and the HK-Macau-Zhuhai bridge and high-speed rail link to HK are two examples of these efforts.

    only the naive or idiotic believes otherwise (those working for Jack Ma included)