Hands off unique and much-loved market

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 April, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 April, 2002, 12:00am

I refer to the report headlined 'Fury at Stanley Market mall plan' (South China Morning Post, March 30).

My family and I have lived in Hong Kong for 22 years. During that time, we have entertained hundreds of visitors, both tourists and business people.

Never once, during all that time, have I ever heard one of them ask to visit a shopping mall. They can do that quite easily in their own country.

However, most of them have heard of Stanley Market and can't wait to get there. I have never taken a guest to Stanley without them buying gifts for their friends back home. They take photos of the market and eat in the restaurants. I rather doubt that any visitor's camera will be flashing in a mall.

If anyone wants to do their shopping in a pristine, glass-enclosed, overly air-conditioned, sterile environment, Hong Kong already has more than its share. Why would I drive all the way to the south side of Hong Kong Island to shop in a mall, when I can go to Festival Walk, Pacific Place, the Landmark, or Times Square? There is also that small matter of the shopkeepers in Stanley. Many of these people have been running their small family businesses there for years. I count several of them as my friends. I would suggest that many of them could not afford to move their premises into a mall.

Hong Kong is searching for an identity. Stanley Market is a part of that identity. In this time of recession, the Government needs to look at what is working. Stanley Market works. Wake up, Hong Kong, and don't try to fix something that isn't broken.