'Rich and powerful' from Hong Kong do invest heavily in mainland

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 May, 2015, 5:21pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 May, 2015, 5:21pm

Stephen Vines tries to argue that "the rich and powerful" in Hong Kong are not "so loyal and committed to Hong Kong" because they look overseas for a safety net" ("Loyalty to the motherland is proved by deeds, not words", May 23).

Vines also questions "the loyalty to the Chinese state" of these people.

Interestingly, most of the Hong Kong real estate developers and other investors who Vines must have counted among "the rich and powerful" are investing heavily in mainland Chinese markets. A quick scan of their annual reports will show that their stakes in the mainland are massive, and much bigger than what they have invested in other markets outside Hong Kong.

It is also common knowledge that many senior members of the Hong Kong government have bought holiday and retirement homes in such places on the mainland as Zhongshan.

If Vines, as he says he does, followed the money, he should have made a completely opposite conclusion.

Why don't chief executives buy property in Hong Kong, as Vines argues, putting their money where their mouths are? The answer to this question is simple. All senior members of the government have refrained from buying and selling properties in Hong Kong to avoid allegations of using insider information. A quick review of the totally unfounded allegations against then-non-official member of the Executive Council, Franklin Lam Fan-keung, for the sale of his residential units will confirm this point.

As regards the question of sending children to overseas colleges, Vines should have done more research. Education is no longer a short-cut to "the acquisition of citizenship". Immigration policies and laws have changed. Insofar as Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is concerned, he publicly stated that all his three children were born in Hong Kong as Chinese citizens and have proudly remained so.

Why should "the rich and powerful" send their children away? One simple reason is to get away from the press and its paparazzi. Of course it does not always work. Next Magazine tried for weeks a few months ago to work up a story about the "favour" that the son of C. Y. Leung gets as a postgraduate scientist in the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. Imagine the young man doing his studies or research in a Hong Kong university?

Why should the children of the "rich and powerful" suffer such nonsense?

Andrew W. K. Fung, information coordinator,Hong Kong SAR government