Hongkongers must make clear their opposition to Lantau metropolis proposal

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 May, 2012, 12:00am


I refer to the reports (''Metropolis' urged for Lantau', May 7) and your editorial ('Lantau opportunity cannot be missed', May 12).

The report and editorial refer to key business players on Lantau who have formed themselves into a self-styled 'Lantau Economic Development Alliance'.

Their avowed purpose appears to be to 'turn Lantau into a new metropolis to help Hong Kong keep pace with fast-growing cities on the mainland'. They seek to remind the chief executive-elect of 'a promise' that he has allegedly made in relation to this endeavour.

Experience dictates that when commercial interest groups begin waxing lyrical about 'helping' Hong Kong's future development, somebody somewhere along the line is out to make a profit.

In this case, it is clearly not the thousands of hard-working and stressed out Hongkongers who flock to Lantau each week to hike, swim, picnic, cycle and camp, upon this most beautiful of all Hong Kong's islands. Your correspondent misses the point when he states that a 'debate on how to make better use of our underdeveloped areas is needed'.

Lantau has already been developed in the sense that its natural assets have been painstakingly preserved and adapted over many years for the unquestionable benefit and pleasure of Hong Kong people. Lantau belongs to all of us, it is our green lung, and makes us unique from the blighted cities on the mainland that the 'development alliance' appears so eager to replicate.

We have already seen the results that 'development' has inflicted upon Lantau, the pollution in Tung Chung and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge which is all but obliterating the northwest coastline. And now the 'development alliance' states that it is going to build more malls, offices, flats and commercial complexes on Lantau.

Hong Kong people's resounding response to this should be 'No, you are not'.

People are sick and tired of watching the destruction of so much that is beautiful in Hong Kong, in order to feather the nests of tycoons and private commercial enterprises, under the guise of 'helping' Hong Kong's future development.

Like many people, I have high hopes for our new chief executive. I urge him not to stand by while big business presides over the desecration of Lantau. Once Lantau as we know it is gone, it is gone forever.

Robert Whitehead, Lantau