Call to protect rights of residents
THE Government was collaborating with private developers in the resumption of residential and commercial premises for redevelopment, a legislator and social workers said yesterday.
United Democrat James To Kun-sun warned that the forceful resumption of property without sufficient protection for residents' rights would lead to instability and fear.
It would be dangerous if the Government resumed residential and commercial units under the Crown Lands Resumption Ordinance for private developers, he said.
The Government has proposed to give private developers similar rights to those granted to the Land Development Corporation with regard to evicting small property owners and their tenants in areas to be redeveloped.
Speaking at a City Forum, Mr To said the Government should be extra careful when considering whether to help private developers resume premises.
He said people would not accept the fact that the Government was forcing them out so that private developers could make money.
''When the Government talks with developers, the bottom line should be that the residents affected would have a place to live, the shopkeepers would have a place for their business, and they all should be resettled in the same district,'' Mr To said.
The Principal Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Sarah Wu Po-chu, said the purpose of the law was to speed up the process of urban redevelopment.
She stressed that the Government would consider private developers' requests for government assistance very carefully.
The Government would be careful to make sure that the interests of the people affected would be protected, she added.