Alan Leong urges genuine consultation on heritage

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 January, 2007, 12:00am

The Civic Party's chief executive challenger, Alan Leong Kah-kit, outlined his conservation policies yesterday amid growing concern on how to better protect heritage after the demolition of the Star Ferry pier in Central last month.

The barrister and legislator described Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's latest commitment to consult the public on heritage conservation as 'cosmetic' aims to calm public anger. 'I hope the coming consultation on how to preserve heritage is genuine. Otherwise in a few months, when the people are less angry, things will be the same again and the people will have to beg the government to preserve this and that.'

Mr Leong said the government's responses, so far, suggested it did not understand the root of the problem and why young people in particular were protesting.

He called for a revamp of the system and said the government should adopt international heritage protection principles, such as the widely used Burra Charter. The charter advocates comprehensive research to find out the cultural, social and historic value of heritage and community participation so no one can monopolise the process.

In addition, the Antiquities Advisory Board should have legal power instead of just giving advice to the government.

The new organisation should broaden its scope to cover cultural heritage.