Residents furious at government for allowing Wan Chai plunder

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 February, 2010, 12:00am

It is obvious that Gordon Wu Ying-sheung ('Tycoon likens 'uprising' call to red guards', January 29) is suffering from a severe dose of sour grapes.

His comment that some 'people just turn to the streets because they want to demand something, just like the red guards', is a thinly-veiled potshot at the good citizens of Wan Chai who have been taking to the streets to protest the unacceptable levels of collusion between our administration and tycoon property developers like Sir Gordon.

Three projects have been the focus of much attention within the local community, all of it negative:

The Hopewell Holdings mega tower [Hopewell Centre II] project;

The Urban Renewal Authority's involvement with Hopewell and Sino Land to redevelop Lee Tung Street, also known as Wedding Card Street; and

The destruction of historic Wan Chai Market by the URA and Chinese Estates.

On Sunday, January 24, we had to take to the streets again. This time it was to protest a plan to, among other measures, cut down most of the trees and remove the hillside buffer that provides a sound barrier in front of Ruttonjee Hospital as part of a road-widening scheme without which the increased traffic to be generated by the proposed mega tower will bring traffic on Queen's Road East to a standstill.

The Transport Department is intent on pushing through a deeply flawed traffic impact assessment to remove obstacles to the mega tower.

The anomalies are too numerous to describe through these columns.

Far from being post-1980s protesters, residents from all age groups and backgrounds have no other option than to give up their precious free time that should be spent with family and friends to take to the streets when reasonable objections through the proper channels have been ignored and distorted.

We take great exception to being described as 'red guards'.

As for the contributions the functional constituencies have made to the development of our city, we have to ask what direction would Hong Kong have taken without their pervasive influence?

Their main objective is to retain the status quo whereby a select few are guaranteed obscene returns while the majority is destined to work long hours for low pay to keep these people on the rich lists.

This is not the fair and equitable society that Hong Kong people now aspire to and we are prepared to fight for this goal.

Candy Tam, Wan Chai