1st August 2013
Promenade Turns Into Military Land where HKSAR Gov Has No Jurisdiction
Hong Kong SAR government published a notice in its gazette on 15th February saying that the berth in Central will be converted from public recreational space to permanent military space, and will be managed by the People’s Liberation Army. The size of this land is 0.3 hectare, and Paul Chan Mo-po, Secretary for Development, said that the public consultation was conducted long time ago. However, the truth is that the policy address given by former Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-keun and the government’s draft plans both show that the Central promenade are is for public recreational use. A remark on the plan shows that there will be a berth in the future.
There is a huge difference between public recreational space and military space: in a public recreational space, everyone is allowed to visit and do all sorts of activities, and the PLA can use the space when they need to; military space, however, is only opened to the PLA and will allow civilians to use when the PLA doesn’t need it. If you wish to sneak into a military space, you could be sentence for two years imprisonment. Will this world-class promenade be opened to the public everyday or will it be opened for a handful of days a year, no one could tell. Some citizens interviewed said that what the HKSAR government did is simply transferring the ownership of Hong Kong’s land to China, which is despicable. Even when civilians are allowed to enter the military space, one must be careful with what you say and do. According to Article 23 of the Garrison Law, all civil trot cases arose when PLA is on duty will be handled by the China Central Government, and the HKSAR government has no right to interfere. If one wears the wrong clothing or says a wrong word, or gets deported by the PLA or is treated with violence, no one, including CY Leung, would be able to assist.
Paul Chan said in a Legislative Council meeting that there is no reason for him to believe that the PLA will cause any trouble to the people of Hong Kong. A student thinks quite the opposite, “there were news reports saying that Hong Kong journalists were restricted from conducting interviews in China, and some even got beaten up! What if the PLA do the same in Hong Kong? If anything happens, the (HKSAR) government cannot protect us! How can we trust Paul Chan?” This is certainly not paranoia: a couple years ago, a citizen of Hong Kong lost her phone, the “Find My iPhone” application showed her that her phone was at the PLA barrack. When she reported to the police, the police said they are not authorised to investigate at the PLA barrack.
The PLA owns 2,700 hectare of land in Hong Kong, five times of the North East New Territories Development Plan. Why do the HKSAR government insist on giving the PLA an extra 0.3 hectare of land in Central at all cost including changing the land use?