Why Hong Kong needs to rethink one-way permit scheme: there just isn’t enough room
I was interested to read the letter on July 10 which pointed out that speculators are the root of our housing problems (“Hong Kong’s housing problems will not end until mainland speculators are stopped”).
Indeed, it is true that individuals and companies from China have paid astronomical amounts for property, which has boosted prices. However, this is the tip of the iceberg. In 1995, under governor Chris Patten, the daily quota for one-way permits for mainland citizens was increased to 150. Since then we have had about a million arrivals and counting, without considering other arrivals due to skilled labour and other sources.
The argument is that this enables families to be re-united, because so many Hong Kong people marry mainlanders. On the other hand, now that much of China is well-developed, why can’t they be re-united in China? Also, the arrival of nearly 60,000 per year is unsustainable for Hong Kong and it fuels the collusion between the government and the construction industry to keep home prices on a never-ending spiral. Surely now is the time to stop this immigration policy.
I have friends from many parts of the world, especially from the mainland, and I cherish them. I do not argue from racial grounds but from the fact that Hong Kong is just too small to take this incessant deluge. Why don’t any politicians speak out about this?
Peter A. Tanner, Sai Wan Ho