The revelation that Disney is conducting a due diligence study into building a theme park on the site of the former Whitehead detention centre near Ma On Shan will come as good news to most people. It is the firmest indication yet of the strength of interest by the entertainment giant in making an investment that will be of inestimable benefit to the tourism industry. It should also provide a boost to morale during these difficult economic times. Although any such park would not open for several years, the mere fact of Disney choosing the SAR over other cities in China should produce immediate benefits. It will set a precedent which can be cited to convince other multinationals seeking a base in Asia, while the construction of the park will create jobs and boost the economy. The conversion of the former Whitehead site will also be of symbolic value in erasing memories of its difficult past as a boat people detention centre, with all the problems this brought to the local community. While there will be environmental concerns about a development so near to a country park, the choice of Ma On Shan should help boost transport and infrastructure links to an area of the New Territories crucial to absorbing future population growth. But, important though it is to lure Disney, preserving the non-interventionist principles on which this city's success has been built is even more vital. Unlike others in the region, Hong Kong has always refused to use tax breaks and financial sweeteners to attract investors. Those who come to the SAR do so because of its inherent advantages, such as the rule of law and an efficient infrastructure. It is too early to be sure what Disney is demanding. But it would not be surprising to see it put forward stiff terms, given the strong competition from other cities in China. And there are disturbing reports these include demands for free land and infrastructure from the Government. That may be only an opening gambit. Whatever its status, any idea of giving away for free land worth billions of dollars must be resisted at all costs. Funding infrastructure that will benefit Disney and local residents alike may be acceptable. But that is as far as any financial incentives can go. If the multinational really wants to come to Hong Kong it will do so without inducements. And it would be far better to lure Disney on the basis of the SAR's own merits rather than by offering thinly-disguised bribes.