Idea of building flats in parks likened to ‘cancer cell’ by former observatory chief

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 September, 2013, 4:15pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 September, 2013, 5:11am

Former Hong Kong observatory director Lam Chiu-ying has likened the idea of building flats in country parks to a cancer cell, something that should never be encouraged.

Lam was responding to the idea floated by Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po in his blog on Sunday that has stirred heated debate in the city, despite the Development Bureau’s clarification that the view did not represent the government’s stance.

Lam said after attending at a radio programme on Tuesday that once Hong Kong started turning even a small piece of land in country parks into land for flats, it would not be easy to stop.

If you give away 100 square feet now, later you will ask for 100 sq ft more
Lam Chiu-ying

“If you give away 100 square feet now, later you will ask for 100 sq ft more,” he said. “Ultimately, it will destroy the original aim of having country parks, which is to enable the public to enjoy nature.”

“Turning country parks into residential flats is something one cannot even think about,” Lam said. “It is a cancer cell of an idea.”

During Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's election campaign last year, Lam was a Leung supporter and even advised him on environmental policy.

The idea floated by the development secretary in his blog contradicts a pledge made by Leung during his election campaign when he said country parks “should be protected from development as far as possible”.