Hong Kong's leaders must now act with more foresight and courage

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 June, 2015, 12:02am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 June, 2015, 12:02am

Long-time residents of Hong Kong have begun to realise that our environment and social milieu are approaching breaking point.

The streets are jammed day and night; the temperature is rising; living conditions are deteriorating; and the mood of the people is bitter. All of these conditions are related to one source: serious overcrowding. Why has this occurred? It is because of decisions made by human beings - politicians and business leaders who hold power.

The best example of this is the use of land; for example, in Central district. As any city area becomes developed, the value increases.

The more buildings, the more floors, the more offices, the more workers, the more the area attracts further investment. Business people and their political lackeys praise this situation. They speak of, for example, "jobs", "profits" and "growth", as if these words were sacred. But they forget there is an extremely high cost for such an over-concentration of people.

The price is paid by the people who must work in such conditions. Their health suffers, their family life suffers, their mental stability is affected, and society as a whole deteriorates.

Another source of man-made damage is the one-way permit system that requires Hong Kong have to accept 150 mainlanders each day as residents.

Why was this provision made? Who benefits by having 54,750 extra outsiders come here each year?

Who vets and approves their admission? As they compete for residential space, rents rise, and they also need expensive social services. Has the Hong Kong government ever moved to change or annul this damaging provision?

In addition, vast tracts of land are being used by the armed forces for drills, parades and firing ranges that should be used for housing. Have any officials ever addressed this issue? We need homes, not shooting ranges or parade grounds.

Anyone familiar with anatomy or the basics of physiology knows that abnormal or uncontrolled growth is a form of cancer. A city or a nation that cannot control its growth due to rotten politics (that is, vested interests) is headed downward. The recent political fiasco in Legco should be a warning to our leaders that they must act with more foresight and courage. They must stop kowtowing to outside powers or local fat cats and act firmly in the best interests of all our people.

A common trick politicians use is to blame "foreign interference" or "rebellious people", when the real problem is their own negligence or wrong priorities. Trying to shift blame for one's misuse of power is malicious and ultimately ruinous.

Jason Kuylein, Stanley