New home could have been found for Hong Kong hawker bazaar

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 December, 2015, 5:53pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 December, 2015, 5:53pm

To make way for redevelopment, the government is determined to close down the last remaining textile market in Sham Shui Po, Yen Chow Street hawker bazaar.

Customers and stall owners have witnessed the ups and downs of business and over the years they have developed a strong bond with the bazaar.

However, making a decision to end the existence of the only remaining textile market is depriving people of the right to ply their trade, something they have doing there for around 50 years. These stall holders have worked hard over the years in an effort to improve their lives.

For example, there is one vendor, Mr Chan, who is now in his eighties. He worked at his stall for decades so that he could have enough money to raise six children.

When I looked at the fate of this bazaar it got me thinking. Are Hongkongers only concerned with making money and now ignoring the traditional can-do spirit of Hong Kong, a spirit that has created generations of hard-working and self-reliant citizens who persevere?

Yen Chow Street hawker bazaar is popular with the Hong Kong fashion industry, and I think the government has made a callous decision. For years designers and fashion students would go there to shop. Where can they go now to buy material at affordable prices?

Our policymakers do not seem to care about that and are more concerned with meeting the needs of the better-off in society.

I appreciate that we have to accept that times have changed in keeping with Hong Kong becoming an international city like Singapore and Shanghai.

However, I think the government could have saved the market. It should have entered into discussions with the stall holders about a possible relocation of the bazaar.

Ben Kwong Hoi-yin, Wong Tai Sin