Housing for Hong Kong’s poor must come first, wealthy sports clubs members have other options
I am writing in response to your editorial on recreational leases for private sports clubs (“It’s time to end those privileges enjoyed by elite Hong Kong sports clubs”, March 31).
As all of us in Hong Kong know, the housing problem is very serious. Every available space in Hong Kong will be used to build homes, and reclamation resorted to when suitable land falls short.
However, private sports clubs in Hong Kong have so much space for entertainment and sports activities that not many among the public can enjoy.
As the article mentioned, the authorities have not reacted to the issue of club leases for years, raised from time to time by the Audit Commission as needing review.
It has been six years since the government made the search for housing land a priority, and it’s only now that the 300 or so hectares controlled by these private clubs are being scrutinised.
I agree that just cherry-picking pockets of land is not the solution, we need a comprehensive, overall strategy, in which reclamation and building on New Territories brownfield sites should get priority.
However, the currently available space in Hong Kong is really not enough to satisfy the housing needs of all. According to psychologist Abraham Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs, basic needs and stability are more important than the higher-level needs.
So, the government should always care about the poor, the wealthy can use their money wherever they want.
Oscar Au Yeung, Tseung Kwan O