New line-up with brief to steer West Kowloon's future
A new round of soul-searching on the future of West Kowloon was launched yesterday with the naming of a committee that will spend the rest of the year re-examining the project's core arts and cultural facilities.
But critics said the narrow selection of members meant key voices on the issue would not be heard.
The 15-person committee, headed by Chief Secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan, includes three Executive Councillors - Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, Marvin Cheung Kin-tung and Victor Lo Chung-wing - Zuni Icosahedron founder and artistic director Danny Yung Ning-tsun and Ocean Park Chairman Allan Zeman.
They will convene three advisory groups to examine different aspects of the project.
Tourism Board chief Mrs Chow will lead a group on performing arts and tourism, which will include pop singer and founder of music group People Mountain People Sea, Anthony Wong Yiu-ming.
Mr Lo will lead a group on museums and Mr Cheung will chair a finance group.
Andrew Lam Hon-kin, curatorial director of the government-funded arts body the Museum of Site - the only Democratic Party member on the committee - will sit on the museums group.
Party chairman Lee Wing-tat said it would have been better to include more representatives from his party or from civic culture groups, although democrats could continue to express their views in Legco.
Cheung Tat-tong, former president of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, said he was disappointed that the government did not include experts on land surveying and property development.
'Financial arrangements would affect the development and operation mode of cultural and art facilities,' said Mr Cheung. 'It should be discussed first, not last, in the process of deciding the future of cultural and art facilities.'
Mrs Chow's group comprises 17 members, 10 of whom have been, or are members of, government-funded art organisations, including the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
Mr Cheung's group consists of 14 bankers, legal experts and accountants, and no property developers or industry representatives.
Hang Lung Group chairman Ronnie Chan Chi-chung said the decision to exclude developers would avoid conflicts of interest.
The consultative committee will have its first meeting on April 21.
A full members list is available at http://gia.info.gov.hk/general/200604/06/P200604060106_0106_12630.doc