Lai See

No alarm at fire in The Centrium

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 July, 2014, 1:29am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 July, 2014, 1:29am

The Centrium in Wyndham Street Central, according to its website, "is a contemporary tower offering world class amenities and facilities." This may be true but the occupants recently had cause to be seriously underwhelmed by the building's management company Sino Estates Management, part of the Sino Group. On Monday evening around 6pm occupants of the upper floors of the 41 storey building were disconcerted to discover that the lifts were frozen and couldn't be used. Calls to the management office were unanswered.

Then rumours began to circulate that there was a fire in the building even though the fire alarms hadn't sounded. Some offices took the decision to evacuate the building. So people walked down the stairs. When they reached level six they had to make a choice between two stairwells. One of them was full of smoke. Some turned back while others continued through it without ill effects. The building management office is on the fifth floor but nobody was there. Occupants of the building were alarmed and annoyed by the lack of any formal explanation from the building management as to why it didn't tell occupants there was a fire. Building management staff have been forbidden to talk about the fire.

It transpires that a car caught fire on the fifth floor car park and since that floor acts as a firebreak the building management felt there was no danger to the occupants on the higher floors and therefore no need to sound the alarm or explain why the lifts weren't working. This approach to building management has not gone down well with the occupants who want assurances that future incidents will be treated in a less cavalier fashion. Numerous calls by Lai See to both the building management office and to Sino Group elicited promises that someone would call back but these have yet to materialise.


Illegal parking has a silver lining

We have received an interesting update to our recent piece about the illegal parking chaos in Mui Wo, South Lantau. Readers may recall that residents have been infuriated by the lack of response by the police to vehicles that have turned whole stretches of pavement to permanent parking. One reason advanced for this lack of police action is that they have been encouraged by "local dignitaries" not to be too proactive in dealing with illegal parking.

In this way it is hoped that a groundswell of support will be created for building a large multi-storey car park on land that is owned by one of these local grandees. We think this view is rather far-fetched since this would be a most unusual development as nothing like this ever occurs in Hong Kong, particularly in the New Territories.


Greatest dog show on earth

Fans of Gromit of Wallace and Gromit fame may be interested in visiting an exhibition of 70 Gromit Unleashed sculptures in the Elements shopping mall above Kowloon MTR station.

Gromit Unleashed Hong Kong is a charity event which follows the huge success of the event held in Bristol, England last year which raised £3.8 million (HK$50.2 million) for Bristol Children's Hospital.

Elements has teamed up with Gromit Unleashed organisers to stage the show which is being called the "The Greatest Dog Show on Earth." It features Gromit sculptures 5ft and three ft tall with a 13 ft centerpiece sculpture, all of which have been designed by and decorated by international designers.

The sculptures will be auctioned off after the show with the proceeds going to Art in Hospital charity and Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal, both of which support sick children.


Have you got any stories that Lai See should know about? E-mail them to