Fewer people in Hong Kong: would that be such a bad thing?
- With half the number of people, flat sizes might increase to 500 sq ft instead of 250 sq ft, with less waste produced and less pollution
I think we should discuss the population policy in Hong Kong and in general. I refer to the lead article on the Insight page on January 4, titled “Demographic crisis”, where the author laments the low fertility rate in China and says urgent counter measures are needed. We hear similar voices in Hong Kong. What puzzles me is that there seems no opposition to it and that well-educated people express such opinions.
My point is: would fewer people really be such a bad thing? Maybe economically, but only for a while. The traffic is terrible, health care a disaster. I have just come from a visit to the doctor – I could barely get in because of the crowd. There is not enough land for housing, we have to give up valuable green space, the Cross-Harbour Tunnel is a nightmare, landfills are overflowing and the pollution is terrible, all while the number of poor keeps rising.
With half the number of people, flat sizes might increase to 500 sq ft instead of 250 sq ft, with less waste produced and less pollution. Only a generation or so ago, the population of Hong Kong was about half of what it is now – and I don’t think anybody was lonely.
Do most Hongkongers really want more people around and to sacrifice their quality of life in the blind pursuit of economic growth? What about 50 or 100 years later? Did anybody ask us, or do the politicians just do their short-sighted thing? I understand well why young couples don’t want to have children: just being used for economic purposes is unfair.
Urs Heggli, managing director, South China Sea Farm