Your front-page report 'Governor says sorry for border crush' (South China Morning Post, August 30), which has the Governor of Guangdong, Lu Ruihua, apologising to foreign businessmen for the long delays at the Lowu checkpoint, demands a follow up.
As one of those foreign businessmen who for several years has been going through Lowu on a weekly basis, I strongly disagree with Governor Lu's statement that there is 'no quick-fix solution'. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that the new Chinese checkpoint has at least 30 counters available but at any one time rarely more than 12 or 14 and, sometimes, as few as eight are manned. At the same time, the queue lumps together mainlanders desperate to experience 'Asia's World City' with foreign businessmen.
The pushing, shoving and queue- jumping by some mainlanders is an accident or a tragedy waiting to happen. So here's my simple quick-fix solution:
Man the remainder of the empty counters - there are always plenty of immigration officers walking around aimlessly in the background;
Separate mainlanders and foreign travellers - one counter for us, 29 for them; and
Put on a happy face! The Chinese immigration department has perfected the art of looking sullenly indifferent.
If none of these suggestions are acceptable then the work should be contracted out to Hong Kong's own Immigration Department whose officials I have generally found to be pleasant, helpful and extremely efficient when handling very large groups of people.
King & Country