The House News
11th November 2013
Save Big Wave Bay West
To all Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) Legislators,
Tai Long Sai Wan is Part of Hong Kong’s Precious Natural Heritage.
Do not go against the people by blocking the Government from conserving it
To fill a gap in conservation policy, Government initiated an amendment bill to incorporate Tai Long Sai Wan (TLSW) into the Sai Kung East Country Park. However, the Chairman of the Heung Yee Kuk, Hon. Lau Wong Fat, proposed a non-binding motion to exclude TLSW from the Country Park. The motion was passed because of the support from seven legislators (four from the DAB). A formal motion will shortly be tabled. The amendment of the Government’s bill will add uncertainty to the future of Tai Long Sai Wan and has shocked the environmental NGOs and the public, as we considered that the DAB had the critical votes in hand but deliberately ignored the Hong Kong people’s consensus to protect our Country Park system. This is also a show of contempt for popular opinion and is an act against the people of Hong Kong.
In Violation of Public Consensus
In 2010, the dirty trick of “destroy first; develop later” was uncovered at Tai Long Sai Wan. This incident exposed a gap in conservation policy and caused an outcry in society with much coverage by the media. This prompted the Government to put out a new policy to protect the Country Park enclaves. The Government is now fulfilling its promise to the Hong Kong people by incorporating the first batch of three enclaves, Tai Long Sai Wan, Kam Shan and Yuen Tun into the Country Parks. The amendment bill was discussed in the relevant Legco Sub-Committee on 2 Nov. Before the meeting, the Save Our Country Parks alliance held a press conference to urge the legislators to support this amendment bill. However, seven legislators, including Elizabeth Quat, Chan Han-pan, Christopher Chung and Chan Hak-kan from DAB, did the opposite. If this motion is passed by the Legislative Council, then the future of Tai Long Sai Wan will be very bleak and the consensus in the society will be futile.
No Infringement on Private Property Rights
Those legislators who supported the motion argue that once Tai Long Sai Wan is incorporated into the Country Park, the villagers’ right will be harmed. In fact, the amendment bill by the Government will strengthen the management of the area while the villagers’ right to build small houses will not be affected. Hence there is no ground to oppose the amendment bill.
“Save Our Country Parks” alliance believes that DAB, as the largest political group in Legco and claiming to represent the view of the Hong Kong people, should not lean towards local economic interests tied to developers. Hence, we urge the legislators of DAB to stop being the enemy of the people and support the Government’s amendment bill. This will ensure that Tai Long Sai Wan, a natural heritage site so popular among Hong Kong citizens and visitors alike, will be given proper protection. In addition, once the area has been incorporated into the Country Park, it will be monitored and managed by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Dept. and its ecological, landscape, educational, recreation, leisure and scenic values can be enhanced.
The Real Hong Kong News did not translate this article, it is an open letter The House News published in light of recent events.