Parallel trading

Traders' threat to baby milk stocks

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 February, 2013, 3:02am

I refer to the report ("Milk activists take on the wrong target", January 28).

You describe various activist groups taking matters into their own hands in preventing parallel traders from snapping up milk formula.

When this problem arose last year, I originally held the belief that this was only a passing occurrence, and that this issue would eventually fade away after some time.

Sadly, it seems that I was horribly wrong.

Rather than tightening up border controls as I expected, given how well the government had been cracking down on illegal immigration, there have not been any new regulations to stop the still-increasing number of parallel traders coming in to Hong Kong.

The situation is so bad that ordinary Hong Kong people have to stand up and take to the streets just to fight for the right to be able to feed their babies.

I am surprised that the government is still idle on the issue, when local mothers are running out of milk for their children.

Of course, I understand that any border arrangements have to be agreed upon by both Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and so it may take a long time for any new restrictions to be put in place.

However, surely the government can put some temporary measures in place to relieve the plight of local mothers.

A suggestion is that the government imports milk formula itself, and then sells it to Hong Kong identity card holders only, at various locations around the city.

I am concerned that the government has yet to act on an issue that is polarising the people of Hong Kong, and I sincerely hope that something is done about it soon, before activists become more radical in their protests and violence occurs at the border.

William McCorkindale, Ma On Shan