• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 9:41pm
NewsHong Kong
DEVELOPMENT

Legco vote on new-towns funding postponed again as protesters rally at Tamar

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 June, 2014, 4:15pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 June, 2014, 2:45am
 

A vote on preliminary funding for two controversial northeast New Territories new towns was put on hold last night after a meeting of Legco's Finance Committee was thrown into chaos as hundreds protested outside the Legislative Council complex at Tamar.

The meeting was a continuation of the one a week earlier that ended in mayhem with protesters attempting to storm the Legco building to stop lawmakers voting on the HK$340 million in funding for the new towns in Fanling and Kwu Tung.

Watch: Protestors rally outside of Legco during new-towns funding proposal

The chairman of the Finance Committee, Ng Leung-sing, faced heated criticism during the four-hour meeting yesterday, including accusations that he ignored rules and procedures. New People's Party lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee even suggested he step aside when the meeting resumes next week.

"There are 2,000 people outside. The displeasure last week was largely caused by your recklessness," Democrat Sin Chung-kai, speaking on a motion to adjourn, said in reference to last week's chaos when protesters clashed with police. Pan-democrats asked for the meeting to be adjourned so government officials could meet affected villagers again to resolve the matter peacefully.

Ng then came under more fire when he suggested that each member would have only one minute to speak on the motion to adjourn, instead of the usual three minutes.

Calm was restored when Ng's motion was voted down 24-26. Ip and Michael Tien Puk-sun, also of the New People's Party, were among those who voted against.

"Mr Ng has made the meeting very chaotic," Ip said, and suggested the committee's vice-chairwoman, Emily Lau Wing-hing, chair the next meeting.

Ng did not take questions from the media after the meeting but told Cable TV he felt he had a duty to continue as chairman. However, he said if "it was better for the issue" he would consider stepping aside. The committee has three remaining sessions before the summer break.

Eric Ma Siu-cheung, undersecretary for development, said: "The government regrets that attempts were made to delay the vote on the funding approval."

In a blog post yesterday, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying urged lawmakers and all citizens to spread the spirit of "all for one, one for all" and build the new towns to solve the city's housing shortage.

The protesters, banned from the Legislative Council complex, moved to the square outside the adjacent government headquarters. Between 800 and 1,000 police officers were deployed and barricades erected.

The organisers of the protest, which was largely peaceful, said there were 5,000 demonstrators, while police put the figure at 1,300.

The protesters grew more angry as pro-government groups rallied on the opposite side of the road and played the national anthem.

Police arrested two students aged 13 and 14 for possessing weapons including two 20cm knives, a combat knife, around 10 cutter blades, an iron hammer, a torch lighter and two wire cutters.

Chief Inspector Chen Chi-cheong said the police were investigating the background of the teenagers and why they appeared at the protest with weapons. The boys were in custody and no charges had been laid as of last night.

A 75-year-old protester was arrested for slapping an officer.

A total of 26 people have been arrested over last week's protest.

 

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37

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virokick
These greedy village thugs want more compensation , while many in HK live in matchbox size flats.
Quickly develop more new towns and supply more flats.
virokick
The Singaporean government many decades ago will sound the alarm - and coincidently there will be a fire at the slump and squatter areas - with fire engines coming. These fires often happen at noon time on Sundays where people usually are awake and can take some of their valuable belongings.
After the fires - their gov will than set up booths nearby - registering those slump dwellers who lost their homes in the unfortunate fires- and they are placed in gov public housing.
It's from these fires at the slump and squatter areas that we see the skyscrapers and wonderful housing that Singapore is known to have today.
It's year 2014 today, yet we in HK can't get past a few hundred village thugs - while the many millions in HK - who are equally HK residence suffer from a lack of space.

virokick
For those against the development of the new townships in the New Territories ; you can't expect to have the cake and eat it at the same time. Some tough choices have to be made- such as relocation. This is after all HK ; we must trust the system at least would give a fair deal /compensation to the villagers, unlike say China where people become over night multi millionaires from over compensation or treated unfairly by having their farmland grabbed by corrupt officials.
Some talk about preserving the 'way of life of locals', and want more land supply for housing, go on talking , consulting , discussing ; as though we haven't done enough of that yet.
We need action and not just more talk and that's why the government should start working on it.
Be part of the solution and don't be part of the problem.
Small house policy for indigenous males - must be abolished.
Relocation of villagers who are adequately compensated- has to be done for development sake.
If one speaks , acts and walks like a thug- one is indeed a thug( Heung Yee K).
That's why the government will carry on with the job.
And commentators like Johny...will continue opposing and whining that everything the government does is wrong. That's the only constructive thing he could do to increase land supply; actually he only increases noise supply.
gardnerguitar@icloud.com
Virokick is a nasty ignorant sucker for sure
The fact is as mentioned by one commentator we don't need plush golf courses
What about Kai tak what about other wasteland areas of new territory's to build some flats for the people?
Fact is the fat cat politicians don't give a s...t about village life. They don't give a cent for Chinese culture in Hong Kong such as local ways. They just want to make their profit from tearing down anything of substance culturally such as traditional village life.
I live in a local village in Hong Kong twenty years I'm proud of my village I respect and live to share in the culture on offer.
Sadly the criminals in power would rather have big wheels in central. Shopping shiny mals for naive mainland tourists, everybody living in a box
hommogenous brain dead servants to their tv and their advertisements
removal of all real meaning in local festivals make it into Micky mouse festival
Sadly our Micky mouse goverment has something more sinister in mind
Welcome to new Hong Kong
Should anyone have to put up with this s..t
I don't think so
virokick
@Paradox314, the villagers are adequately compensated to begin with. Have you done any charity work and seen children living , eating , sleeping in sub-divided flats without a window- as HK is grappling with a shortage of land for housing. What do you tell these underprivileged children? Preserving land space for your villagers to live on their so called ancestral land? The social cost and opportunity cost of not moving these bamboo poll wielding village thugs-is too great.
I guess you are too short sighted to see all this; hence i understand the position of ignorance 'you ' are coming from; Paradox314.
blue
There's also tons of brand new unoccupied flats too. Such unoccupied flats should be charged a penalty tax until they are occupied. The government doesn't want to touch this for some reason.
HK-Explorer
I have always been of the opinion that the small house policy for indigenous villagers is wrong and should stop. It is stealing from Hong Kong people. I still hold this view.
However, golf courses and other private clubs are also stealing from Hong Kong as it is private land where a very minority get to enjoy it.
There needs to be a more comprehensive review of land in Hong Kong. It should focus on the small house policy but also golf courses and private clubs and open the land for housing or better public use.
blue
"$600,000 and be rehoused is not bad!"

Except that not everyone there will qualify for public housing. So where is the free rehousing? It'll all be means tested. If the applicant fails then they will be faced with a miserable situation of not being about to afford a flat, losing their community, and their way of life.
Lintonfamily@netvigator.com
$600,000 and be rehoused is not bad! Most of these so called villagers are essentially squatters and while it may not be their first choice to move it is pretty hard to argue that they are getting a bad deal. The main problems seem to be caused by the self-serving politicians trying to promote their own well being by capitalising on the supposed misfortunes of a few rather than concentrating on the longer term benefits for the vast majority.
virokick
Uncle belly, you indeed have an old uncle mind, and you think from your belly instead of your head.
1) 'Only' allow HK PR's to buy property; you serious in Free market HK? You are indeed an economics fascist or illiterate.
2) Use land from rich- golf course , private clubs - for poor. Are you HK's Robin Hood? Business need some of these facilities to further enhance our city-getting more business. Not farmland with chickens and cows.
3) In process , but still insufficient.
4) make it whatever percent of proportion- show me where is the land ! How about building houses 50% on ground and 50% suspended in the air?
5) tighten rules for 'Mainland Chinese' , here we go again, blame them mainlanders for everything.
6) Force gov this and force tycoons that. You are the one hallucinating, and sounding fascist.
I think our uncle belly here is senile- that's why we need development for more facilities , hospital and healthcare centres , new townships.

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