HK$1.2m goose has problem with bill

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 February, 2013, 4:09am

It's the height of a double-decker bus and certainly catches the eye, but the statue in Sham Tseng erected in honour of the roast goose dish that put it on the map has a problem.

It looks too much like a duck.

After investing HK$766,000 of public money to build the statue, plus another HK$500,000 to light it, that's the verdict of some members of the Tsuen Wan district council, which covers the coastal area of Sham Tseng.

"The neck should've been longer, it should've had a crest [above the beak]," said councillor Chan Wai-ming, who came up with the idea for the sculpture in the first place. "I reminded the sculptors to … pay attention to the sharp, dark-grey beak."

Even though the winning design was chosen from competition entries judged by councillors and government officials, Chan said he would ask the Home Affairs Department to "modify" it.

The goose has been the source of fun online, with Facebook user Axe Wong asking: "This goose cost HK$1.2 million. Shouldn't someone have checked the bill?"

Another Facebook user, Felita Hui, was more scornful. "It will still be an ugly goose however it's modified," she commented.

The statue shows a white, yellow-beaked female bird, with wings spread over a nest of colourful eggs.

Similar "landmarks" are springing up around the city as the 18 district councils look for ways to spend their "minor works" budget - given a boost of HK$100 million per district by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in his policy address.

Chan told RTHK that he had suggested the statue should be of a live goose rather than a cooked one, as it symbolised "energy and would help revitalise Sham Tseng".

Tsuen Wan district council papers, meanwhile, show it is about to get another "landmark", this one costing HK$1.5 million at Chuen Lung.

This time they plan to grace the slopes of the city's highest peak, Tai Mo Shan, with a giant butterfly.

The minor works funds were designed originally to help manage the local environment.

Previous works have included the provision of handrails along trails that walkers deem unnecessary.