Most HK people against further reclamation

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 August, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 August, 1997, 12:00am

The Society for Protection of the Harbour is non-political and is only concerned with protecting the environment of Hong Kong for the welfare of its people.

With the overwhelming support of the Hong Kong community, our society secured the enactment of the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance (under the old Legislative Council) which gives the Central Harbour the most basic protection against indiscriminate reclamation. The ordinance does not affect Tung Chee-hwa's housing policy. Nor does it prevent reclamation for those essential infrastructure facilities such as roads, tunnels, piers, etc, that are really needed.

Last month, the provisional legislature voted not to suspend the ordinance, but it could still be suspended. We appeal to Mr Tung not to take away the only protection there is for the harbour by allowing the provisional legislature to suspend the ordinance at a later date. Do not let the short-sighted policy of the former administration ruin Hong Kong's harbour. Apart from housing, Hong Kong people also need employment in the tourism and shipping industries for which our harbour is vital. Please also consider the environment which will suffer from further harbour reclamation. The resultant pollution, traffic jams and overcrowding will degrade the city of Hong Kong and the quality of life of its people.

The recent University of Hong Kong opinion survey shows that 90 per cent of Hong Kong people are against reclamation and support a law to protect the harbour. I hope Mr Tung will listen to them and to the voices of the 150,000 people who have signed the Petition Against Harbour Reclamation and balance them against the views of the handful of government officials from the previous administration and those who have a selfish financial interest.

If Mr Tung does not believe the society, we ask him to go to the ordinary people of Hong Kong and carry out a public opinion survey as we have done and ask for their opinion about the harbour directly. Please also consider appointing, pursuant to the Commissions of Enquiry Ordinance, an independent commission comprising objective, fair-minded, knowledgeable and independent members of the Hong Kong community, to give the issue of harbour reclamation the proper and detailed consideration that it deserves.

We hope Mr Tung will be known in the history of Hong Kong not only as the first Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region but also as the leader who saved Hong Kong's harbour from destruction. We are sure that he will not let the people of Hong Kong down.

Our society will be very grateful for his personal attention to this important matter which affects not only Hong Kong people today but also future generations.

WINSTON K. S. CHU Chairman Society for Protection of the Harbour