Legco is holding back Hong Kong's development of entertainment industry, complains Allan Zeman

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2014, 11:23pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 April, 2014, 12:17pm

Hong Kong will lose out to other Chinese cities within five years at the current pace of development, entertainment mogul Allan Zeman has warned.

The chairman of Ocean Park and Lan Kwai Fong Holdings singled out the Legislative Council for criticism, complaining it was dragging its feet.

The city faces a major threat from Shanghai, Zeman said, where several big entertainment projects are due to be completed in the next three years.

"If Hong Kong moves on at this pace, we will lose out to other Chinese cities in five years' time," he said.

"The chief executive [Leung Chun-ying] does not have the support in the Legislative Council. Legco is blocking government legislation … it is filibustering on the budget bill. Everything is so slow." Lawmakers have submitted 1,917 amendments to the budget bill, which is likely to trigger a marathon debate running from next Wednesday until June at the earliest.

Zeman feels there is good reason for Hongkongers to worry about Shanghai. "There is a new Disneyland coming up in Shanghai in 2016 and it will be much bigger than Hong Kong's.

"We are building a new project named Dream Centre in Shanghai, which will be a media and cultural hub featuring a new DreamWorks animation studio and will include a Lan Kwai Fong.

"The total project size will be about 10 times that of Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong," said Zeman, who has also taken his brand to Chengdu , Haikou and Wuxi .

Acknowledging the grievances of Hongkongers at the influx of mainland tourists, he called on the government to study how to diversify tourism.

He said: "We have 18 districts and we can offer so much. We can also look into ways to control the influx of tourists."

While Zeman noted the unpopularity of the government, he defended Leung. He said: "CY is trying to do his best. People do not have their own homes so they blame mainlanders, saying they have grabbed all the resources.

"The reality is we have no land and when you propose to take out green land to build houses, the environmentalists go crazy."