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  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 4:38pm

Paul Chan Mo-po

Paul Chan Mo-po is Hong Kong's Secretary for Development. An accountant and the former President of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), he was appointed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying after the resignation of Mak Chai-kwong following a housing allowance scandal. In July 2013, Chan was accused of a conflict of interest when it was revealed that he or his family had an interest in a plot of land in the New Territories that the government had plans to develop.

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Multi-pronged approach scrapped

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 May, 2013, 2:32am
 

Once again Edwin Tong, of the Civil Engineering and Development Department, is misrepresenting the facts ("General support for multi-pronged land supply approach", April 24), in another desperate attempt on the part of the administration to convince the public that reclamation outside Victoria Harbour is both welcome and urgent.

Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po, addressing the Legislative Council finance committee on April 10, advised that the stage 1 public engagement exercise on enhancing land supply strategy ended in March 2012. A whopping 50,000 submissions were received through various channels. A majority of the public supported the "six-pronged" approach of rezoning land, redevelopment, land resumption, reclamation outside Victoria Harbour, rock cavern development and reuse of former quarry sites.

Mr Chan discussed in detail plans for reclamation at five sites and feasibility studies on some cavern developments. Proposals were put forward elsewhere on possible redevelopments at ex-quarry sites. However, if you take the time to read the report on the Civil Engineering and Development Department website, the summary reveals that there is little enthusiasm for reclamation. It says that there was no consensus on increasing land supply through reclamation outside Victoria Harbour.

Strangely, the report on a public consultation that was supposed to be based on a six-pronged approach is titled "Increasing Land Supply by Reclamation and Rock Cavern Development". So where are the initiatives with regard to rezoning, redevelopment and land resumption? Like the other 49,999 respondents, I put forward suggestions with regard to all six options.

As those members of the public now familiar with the all- too-predictable public consultations designed to support a predetermined outcome suspected all along, it is now glaringly obvious that there is no multi-pronged approach. The administration has no intention of addressing the issues of rezoning, redevelopment and land resumption. It intends to forge ahead with reclamation, whether we like it or not. Stage 2 of the public engagement has completely jettisoned all but the reclamation option and some innocuous rock cavern development.

What is the administration hiding from the public? It has only itself to blame that collusion/fear of the large property developers, reluctance to take on the Heung Yee Kuk and vested interests in the reclamation industry are some of the assumptions being widely touted in the community.

Mary Melville, Tsim Sha Tsui

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rpasea
Reclamation is all for the developers who will be able to sell waterfront property at a premium. Meanwhile, there are vast tracts of Hong Kong that simply need to be razed and redeveloped due to crumbling architecture. One can take a look around even densely populated areas like Shatin and you will find many sites waiting for development. There is absolutely no need for reclamation to meet land demand.
Note: I live near Ma On Shan and witnessed many protesters sometime back opposing reclamation of one of the last areas of natural beach, an area enjoyed by many on weekends. It was shocking to see a boat moored in this bay a few days ago; a boat that appeared to be loaded with fill to start the reclamation process. Is govt going ahead as planned despite public opposition?

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