Get reel, CY: Hong Kong chief executive’s lunchtime angling zone and swimming shed plan for workers ridiculed

Facilities would help city’s ‘working class’ relax during lunch breaks, Leung Chun-ying writes on blog

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 March, 2016, 7:57pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 March, 2016, 11:09am

If Leung Chung-ying had been fishing for public approval with his idea for lunchtime angling zones – and maybe a swimming shed – for workers in Central, it seems they failed to take the bait.

Anglers dismissed the chief executive’s brainchild as lacking common sense, while swimmers suggested it might not be such a good idea to plunge into the harbour on a full stomach after lunch.

Others wondered if Leung might be living on another planet.

Writing on his blog, Leung said the facilities would allow the “working class” to relax during their lunch hour. Three angling zones would be set up on the Central promenade, Tsing Yi and Pak Shek Kok in Tai Po.

“After having a simple lunch, staff in Central could then make use of the remaining 45 minutes to fish along the shore,” he wrote.

People could even enjoy a 20-minute swim – “a great alternative to gym” – after lunch if a swimming shed was built near the International Finance Centre.

But angling enthusiasts were less than – well, hooked.

“There are few fish during lunchtime because of the water temperature, sunlight and extra noise”, said Fai Chan, who runs a fishing tackle shop in Sai Wan. “Every angler would know that.”

Chan also said angling is an activity that takes at least half a day. “If all you have is 45 minutes, you are almost ready to pack up before you start,” he said.

Alex Kwok Siu-kit, of the Hong Kong and Kowloon Lifeguards’ Union, welcomed the swimming shed idea, but said it was ridiculous for Leung to target workers.

“Everybody knows you should not swim after lunch, as you might suffer from cramp,” he said.

Labour Party stalwart Lee Cheuk-yan said the idea reflected Leung’s ignorance on the everyday difficulties facing workers.

“Does he know how crowded Central is and how long workers have to queue for a meal?” he asked. “Is Leung living in Mars?”