Hundreds have say on Games bid forum

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 September, 2010, 12:00am

The public is divided over whether the city should bid for the 2023 Asian Games, initial feedback shows.

On Tuesday, the government launched a six-week public consultation on whether Hong Kong should bid to host the Games. It estimated the cost at less than HK$14.5 billion.

In just two days, hundreds of people have posted their views on a Facebook page, 'Hong Kong to host the Asian Games', and a website,, created by the government.

Many used strong words to oppose the plan, saying it would be a waste of taxpayers' money. They said it would be inappropriate for the government to spend more money when it already expects a deficit of HK$25.2 billion in the coming financial year.

'If you government officials really wanna do something for the good of HK people, please stop wasting money doing all these big shows ... In the medium term, HK still has to spend an exorbitant HK$70 billion for the Express Rail Link Project, the MTR West Island Line another HK$13 billion,' a user wrote in a forum on the government's page.

Other opponents preferred to see the money used in other areas such as public housing, medical support and transport. Some said it could be used to buy back two harbour tunnels, whose operators had asked for toll rises.

Supporters of a Games bid said hosting the event could promote sport and boost the number of sports facilities in the city.

One person said hosting the Asian Games was the most efficient way of improving and installing new sports facilities. 'When there was the Olympics equestrian event in 2008, we immediately got six-star equestrian facilities. When we hosted the East Asian Games in 2009, the Tseung Kwan O sports ground became ready for use,' he wrote.