Hong Kong’s handling of Mong Kok walking street was bad, but so was the karaoke
I refer to the article, “Mong Kok buskers say thank you and good night” (July 30). The pedestrian zone along Mong Kok’s Sai Yeung Choi Street South has been shut down after 18 years because of noise complaints. A lot of citizens and performers came to the zone last Sunday to bid farewell. Some came to take photos of the crowds and the performers, others to show support for the street’s best-known names and take selfies with them. One performer even proposed to his girlfriend. But no matter what they did, everyone who gathered had one common aim, which was to witness a chapter of Hong Kong history come to a close.
Hong Kong’s reputation as a competitive society spills over to the performing arts as well, as artists jostle for space to perform and showcase their art to the public at large. A pedestrian zone such as the one in Mong Kok allowed them to give full play to their talent. A lot of them have now been left disappointed, as a result of the government’s mismanagement of the scheme (“Permits could have kept Mong Kok zone from becoming a nuisance”, July 31).
In my opinion, the trigger for finally closing down the pedestrian zone was the cacophony generated by karaoke performers who sang off key and very loudly. If the government ever plans to open this pedestrian zone again, it must coordinate with the people to avoid this kind of fiasco, whether by issuing licences or strictly enforcing decibel limits. It is also expected of performers that they practise self-discipline and show respect to other users of the pedestrian zone.
Yammy Tang, Tseung Kwan O