• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 7:16am
NewsHong Kong

If Hong Kong country parks are built up, go to mainland for leisure, government adviser suggests

Surveyor Kaizer Lau stokes debate by suggesting Hongkongers cross border to escape city life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 February, 2014, 11:35am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 February, 2014, 4:45pm

The mainland is an alternative to country parks as a place for Hongkongers to relieve the stress of city life, a government adviser said amid debate on developing housing in some parks.

Locals should "never say never" to the idea of using country park land to build homes, said Kaizer Lau Ping-cheung, a member of the new committee advising the government on developing Lantau Island. Fellow committee member Franklin Lam Fan-keung suggested building in Lantau's parks on Sunday.

Discussion continued on an RTHK phone-in show yesterday, involving Lau, a surveyor and former lawmaker, and former Observatory chief Lam Chiu-ying.

When a caller asked Lau where locals could find space to relieve the pressures of city life if country parks were developed, he responded: "Hongkongers are free to travel to the mainland.

"Since the mainland opened up more than 30 years ago, many locals from the middle and lower classes have crossed the border for leisure, to visit relatives, to invest and conduct business or to send their children to school. Therefore, I am not too worried in this regard."

Lam Chiu-ying disagreed, saying country parks should not be built on. Instead, he proposed residential developments of 20 to 30 storeys be built in place of low-rise homes in the New Territories.

The idea of developing country park land has been debated since it was floated by Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po in his blog in September, "in the face of a shortage of land supply and a big housing demand".

Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi-pong, also convenor of a concern group on population policy, criticised Lau for failing to understand public sentiment.

"He shouldn't impose his own view on all Hongkongers," Tam said. "Locals are already seriously disturbed by the influx of mainland visitors on a daily basis, largely because of cultural differences. I don't think they want to be surrounded by more mainlanders when they want to relax."

He said the city's country parks allowed for convenient one-day visits. "You can enjoy it in the day and return home at the end of the day."

Lau and Franklin Lam were too keen on integrating the city with mainland development despite resistance from Hongkongers, Tam said.



For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Or for retirement ?
Raze the mountains in Hong Kong, uproot the trees, build more jewellery shops for mainlanders and parking spots for mainland tourist buses.
Or maybe, leave the mainlanders in the mainland, and sell your stuff in the mainland?
Keep the trees an mountains in Hong Kong and attract a different kind of tourist. Those who like to walk and swim and dive.
Make Hong Kong clean.
Lau should take a good look at the aerial view of Hong Kong and Guangdong. Whereas HK has patches of orange dotting the general green territory, Guangdong has green dotting its vastly orange territory. West of the border's development model that destroys the environment at the expense of the current as well as future generations is NOT to be emulated by HK, NOT ever! If Lau is happy having his morning walks or week trekking across the border, he is welcome to do so. But don't touch our country parks!!!
Why should the people of Hong Kong have to travel elsewhere to see the great outdoors?

I smell another seditious attempt at forced integration.
It looks that Mr. LAU Ping Cheung, Founder and Vice-Chairman of The Hong Kong Coalition of Professional Services, wants Hong Kong people to spend more across the border, at the expense of local leisure industry.
Lau Ping-cheung is free to resign after making such an absurd comment, and after that be prepared to be slapped on his face!
I just noticed he looks rather similar to Paul Chan...
Tsk tsk! Is his face wide enough? There will be more than a million takers.
I'll see you travel to the mainland for a lunch run...
Lau Ping-cheung is free to resign after making such an absurd comment. He can retire to the mainland.
What a complete p***k!




SCMP.com Account