Hong Kong's future stripped of beauty
DO the people of Hong Kong realise that their Government, in the name of 'economic progress' is rapidly changing what was once one of the world's greatest harbours, a masterpiece created by the Almighty, into an open sewer and very dangerous waterway too narrow for the large and growing marine traffic? What could be the reason behind such massive works as the West Kowloon and Central to Wan Chai reclamations? It is frightening that these only represent one-quarter of the proposed reclamation, the bulk of which exceeds 600 hectares and is yet to come.
Surely there must be better ways of providing more land for development (for example, by urban renewal and developing the New Territories) than by cutting the heart out of our community. Is it all really necessary, this blind plunge into more land creation for yet more commercial towers, yet more public housing, yet more streets at the expense of the little 'people space' still remaining? Why has the Hong Kong Government embarked upon such a regressive step as to reclaim yet another part of our natural heritage and turn it into yet another part of the increasingly horrendous urban jungle that Hong Kong is becoming? The 'Information Superhighway' is already upon us so that being close-at-hand is no longer needed in business. Other leading world cities are therefore diversifying their central business districts to regional centres.
The point behind my concern is that reclamation for reclamation's sake seems to have overtaken good sense in government thinking. What possible motive could the present regime have? Could it be jobs for the consultants and engineers? Could it be Executive and Legislative Council friends of big business determined to please their private-enterprise patrons one last time? It is the consequences I fear more than the motives. Natural assets are being destroyed in the name of economic progress. What little quality of life there remains in central Hong Kong is being swallowed up.
Future generations will suffer from the error of judgment of those responsible and this disaster can never be undone. Perhaps these people will some day look at a photograph of Hong Kong and realise deep in their hearts what a horror they have created for the people of Hong Kong.