Talking Points: Iconic Pawn Shop to Go, Uber Gets Raided, Electors Registered to Lamp Post
We read the news, so you don’t have to.
Iconic Wan Chai Pawn Shop To Be Demolished
Demolition works are underway on Wai Chai’s venerable Tung Tak Pawn Shop, despite a last-ditch petition to get the government to save the Grade III listed historic building. Located on the corner of Marsh Street and Hennessy Road, the structure is facing its end because the site’s owner plans to redevelop the building into a 23-story commercial tower. The iconic Wan Chai building is one of only three pre-war buildings of its type left in Hong Kong. Local NGOs have launched an internet campaign to halt the project, as Grade III classification grants no protection from redevelopment.
Our take: Another bit of Hong Kong heritage sacrificed in the name of profit. Thanks, government!
Police Raid Uber, Arrest Interns
Police arrested seven drivers who worked for taxi company Uber last week, acting on allegations that they were using cars without permits and the correct insurance. The Uber offices were also searched, with police removing documents and arresting three staff at the company—two of whom were interns. Government agency InvestHK, which encourages foreign direct investment and played a large part in courting Uber’s presence in the city, distanced itself from the company, deleting a web page which praised the app. A petition started by Uber titled “Keep Hong Kong Moving” has attracted 53,000 signatures.
Our take: Oh, great. So now it’s even harder to get a cab than ever before.
Electoral Register Addresses Include Cultural Center, Lamp Post
A check of registered voting addresses by the Electoral Affairs Commission has revealed some unusual locations: EAC chairman Barnabas Fung announced that some voters had registered themselves as residents in hotels, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, public parks and even a lamp post. He reiterated that registered addresses should be the main residence of the voter. Some of Hong Kong’s homeless register public spaces as their residential addresses to allow them to vote.
Our take: If we register ourselves as resident at the Mandarin, does it mean we get to stay there for free?