Revived Home Ownership Scheme will help to dissipate young people's anger

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 September, 2011, 12:00am

I refer to the letter by Warren Chan Sze-chun ('Listen to the unhappiness of the people', September 10).

Describing the actions of young protesters that led to scuffles during the forum to discuss the scrapping of Legislative Council by-elections, he said 'some Hong Kong people are very angry about the government's incompetence in dealing with issues affecting democracy and the poverty suffered by the grass-roots members of the society'. Mr Chan has a point, but would violent behaviour get the young people what they want?

They may have been frustrated by the government's initial high-handed plan to scrap by-elections without public consultation. But have they considered the actions of the five legislators who resigned and then stood again, wasting a huge amount of public money? These lawmakers' 2008 election platform was that they would fight for direct elections by 2012. Never mind this was in contradiction to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress ruling in 2007. When they resigned their seats, they should have said, 'We are resigning in shame, because we cannot deliver our campaign promise. We have failed our electorate.' Instead, they resigned and stood again, declaring the by-election as a 'referendum'. These legislators pride themselves on upholding the 'rule of law'. On what legal basis can a by-election become a referendum? Yet, our young people think the five legislators are in the right.

These youngsters are very upset about property hegemony. The problem here is not the property tycoons charging astronomical prices. Nobody is putting a gun to the heads of buyers. Either these people have the financial clout to buy at these ridiculous prices, or they are reckless risk takers who deserve their sorry end when the bubble bursts.

What young people need to concentrate on is to respectfully request the government to look after their needs and re-start the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS). If the government starts to build 5,000 to a maximum of 10,000 HOS units a year, specially catering for first-time young buyers, most of the current unhappy atmosphere will dissipate.

The HOS for the young people's market is a different market to that of the property tycoons. Will the government have enough courage to restart the HOS as soon as possible, instead of constantly worrying that it will bring property prices down like during the period from 1998 to 2003?

Alex Woo, Tsim Sha Tsui