Wednesday, 25 April 2018

The MTR's Bizarre Housing Solution

MTR Corp's Frederick Ma suggests a "Hong Kong Town" in Guangdong
The MTR Corporation is brilliant at thinking of how to make more money off us little guys.

The latest? To help ease the housing shortage, why not build a "Hong Kong town" across the border in China and so young people and the elderly can commute everyday (via the MTR of course)?

Frederick Ma Si-hang of the MTR says the company is already in talks with the state-run China Railway Corp to explore the feasibility in Nansha and Foshan and residents can use a high-speed rail to get back to Hong Kong to work everyday.

The complex would be near the high-speed train station
He brushed off concerns that this project would be a conflict of interest...

The "Hong Kong Town" would be located near the high-speed rail station in Guangzhou and the whole complex would have a "Hong Kong ambience" that would have residential, commercial and reliable healthcare facilities.

It would also mean governments on both sides would have to come up with a monthly pass to make the trips not only more affordable, but also help them go through immigration faster and allow people living on the mainland to pay Hong Kong tax because they work there.

Readers who have commented on this story point out the legal ramifications -- is a Hong Kong resident who lives in this "Hong Kong town" subject to Hong Kong or China laws? While the housing will be cheaper, the food and water quality on the mainland are questionable. And what does "Hong Kong ambience" mean anyway? Like Central or like Mongkok?

Container terminals in Hong Kong could be turned into flats
The main complaint from other readers was this sense of resignation of having failed at trying to find solutions to the housing issue in Hong Kong and just dumping people who cannot afford it to a compound across the border. How does that achieve anything except shift the problem -- literally?

It just shows there is not enough determination on the part of the government to really tackle the housing issue. The MTR is also looking at possibly snapping up container terminals in places like Nam Cheong and Mei Foo in Hong Kong to turn into housing.

And who would be laughing all the way to the bank?

Li Ka-shing who owns Hongkong International Terminals Limited.

Us little guys never get to win.

No comments:

Post a Comment