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  • Jul 12, 2014
  • Updated: 4:27pm
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 September, 2013, 3:48am

A bold idea put forth by a cowering minister

BIO

Michael Chugani is a Hong Kong-born American citizen who has worked for many years as a journalist in Hong Kong, the USA and London. Aside from being a South China Morning Post columnist he also hosts ATV’s Newsline show, a radio show and writes for two Chinese-language publications. He has published a number of books on politics which contain English and Chinese versions.
 

Huge housing estates with towering blocks of shoebox flats intruding into our beloved country parks. And where there are such estates, there must also be highways, rail links, shopping malls and felled trees. You get the picture. This shocker of an idea was hurled at us on Sunday by Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po. And what did he do as all hell broke loose? He ran and hid. Then he got his underlings to say he was not speaking for the government but merely reflecting others' ideas. Is this guy for real? Is he too dense to understand that, as a top official, people rightly assume he is speaking for the government? But the idea itself is bold and deserves discussion. Country parks take up 40 per cent of Hong Kong, providing a much-cherished green getaway for our stressed population. But we have pressing housing needs; we must find new land. Mass reclamation is no longer an option after harbour protectionists won a legal fight against that. If Chan is going to ignite as combustible an idea as building in country parks, he should stick around for the fallout. But no. Instead, he retreated into the vast, walled bureaucracy, leaving it to the chief executive and the environment minister to take the heat. Now you know why he is our most unpopular minister.

 

Face up to the rich and the infamous

And who was it who talked big about putting housing on the Fanling golf courses? Yes, Paul Chan, of course. Then he backtracked into the bunker of bureaucracy when the idea of the government resuming land from the rich gained traction. He lacked the backbone to take a strong leadership role in staring down opposition from the wealthy, and now he talks about taking back country parks instead - parks used by ordinary folks. The first step should be to drive the rich folks out of the Fanling courses for which they pay only HK$1 a year. And to end the outrageous small-house policy that reserves the bulk of our available land for indigenous villagers. But no one in our government dares confront the thuggish rural leaders who threaten mayhem each time there is even the slightest suggestion of ending the policy.

 

Give up on the man, Mr Chief Executive

And who is it who does not know how much land our country parks take up? Yes, Paul Chan again. He wrote in his blog that country parks took up 70 per cent of our land. Wrong. It is 40 per cent. And this is our development secretary who earns about HK$300,000 a month. Surely we must all pray hard for a miracle if the man entrusted with our development does not even know the basics of our land use. Mr Chief Executive, please dump him. We are not saying this because he stands accused of having once been a slumlord of subdivided flats. Or that New Territories land he owned in an area zoned for new towns qualified him for government compensation. It is because he is a millstone around your neck. And he is way out of his depth in his job.

Michael Chugani is a columnist and broadcaster. mickchug@gmail.com

 

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r6b
one of the best locations for new housing is along the West rail line.
But as you can see from google maps, the problem is that the adjacent land is occupied by container yards, and construction machinery storage. This land needs to be repossessed for appropriate residential use.
Its time to move these yards well away from commuter rail lines.
The logical place for container and heavy machinery storage is the Lok Ma Chau loop, which is adjacent to the border crossing, ( ideal for container pick-up & drop-off ) and far too contaminated for any other financially viable development
wingchi1000
It is outrageous that Mr. Chan comes up with an idea of solving the housing problem in this way, by destroying our beloved country parks rather than leaving a huge piece of land for the prestigious golf players. What is the logic? What’s our minister’s mind? He is not only one to be criticized, the administration can’t escape as well. Pls be bold, unless, Mr. Secretary and Mr. Chief executive, you have other more brilliant ideas to get land, I don’t think you have a choice but retrieving the fanling golf course.
N.A.T.C
Mr. Chugani,
perhaps you should investigate and write something on below.
in my own experience many public housing units rented to families or HOS flats purchased for self use years ago (more then you can think) are either lying vacant or rented to friends and relatives illegally, because the families or owners have bought private proprieties and or moved overseas but do not want to give up these units.
As per rules you can not rent a public flat if you own a property, since these people do not want to let go of the public rental flat, they use different methods and tactics to avoid detection , such as purchasing properties on their parents and other family members names.
I am sure if a proper check is done the government should be able to free up thousands of public rental / HOS units which can then be allotted to the deserving families who are waiting for the public unit.
Another Social Critics...
Paul Chan is Now No.1 Follow-Dog under that 'CY' Doing "EVIL"...
Up till Now...that 'CY' already Manipulates up-pushing SkyRocketing HK's Land & Property - Pricing, that Out-Exceeds 97's Level at Least 50%!!!
If not be temporarily Stopped by 'Ginger Tactics' forcely Formulated & Implemented by Financial Secretary & Monetary Authority...Scientifically & Statistically...Insistedly!!!
REMEMBER ...Now that 'CY'can't Resist to Enforce...
BUT...If given any possible Excuses/Chances, that 'CY' will then Pretend to release 'Ginger Tactics' Reluctantly...
In its Continuance in Doing "EVIL" for general HK's Populations...
DisGuisiedly said in Looking for More Land Supplies for Ease of HK's Housing Needs...
But...
Without Simultaneous Action in Lowering already SkyRocketing HK's Land & Property - Pricing.
InEvitably UnCovering...
Its Only Intention in Squeezeing-Out/Selling-Off HK's Most Treasured - Lands, within Shortest Time,
for Self/Others Profiteering, thru various Abuses of Power in its Position as 'CE'.
Classic Examples...
Ex-Railway Minister's Incident in MainLand, as well as, AuManLun's Incidents in Macau.
DON'T FURTHER DISTRACT/DECEIT CENTRAL CHINA GOVERNMENT & HK's PEOPLES!!!
IMMEDIATE DIMSISSAL of that 'CY' & Its Related Group...
DO HK's ANOTHER GREAT ACHIEVEMENT!!!
yellow_lynx_cat
We pay $300,000 a month for a idiot who talk **** in his blog... I want his job...
Baggy
hahaha ... funny yet sadly true article.
daily
He's probably bosom buddies with CY Leung...........what a team of idiots!
impala
[He wrote in his blog that country parks took up 70 per cent of our land. Wrong. It is 40 per cent. And this is our development secretary who earns about HK$300,000 a month.]

That is pretty shocking indeed. What a clueless clown.
 
 
 
 
 

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