South China Morning Post
August 19, 2009
Public Eye with Michael Chugani

South China Morning Post

Has tourism commissioner lost her way?

Do you know what's wrong with Tourism Commissioner Margaret Fong Shun-man? What's wrong with her is she functions like a transport official.

Whenever she defends demolishing the Kowloon Star Ferry bus terminus she does so in transport terms, not tourism. She says buses would be rerouted to a new stop a minute away with a covered walkway to the pier. The why bother demolishing the terminus other than for the sake of it? She wants the bus terminus space for a pseudo harbourfront piazza. We have miles of shoreline suitable for such a pseudo piazza where you can actually see the harbour. But she wants it where you cannot actually see it. The ferry pier building blocks the view. A harbourfront piazza where you can't see the harbour. Well, why not? We do have a windowless cultural centre overlooking the world's finest harbour. She says the bus terminus has no heritage value anyway. Says who? Says the Antiquities and Monuments Office. This is the same department that decided the now-demolished Hong Kong Star Ferry and Queen's Pier lacked heritage value to be preserved. This is the department that has erased Hong Kong's links with its historical past. It is time the department itself is destroyed. It has been preserved for way too long. It should be shut down and its bureaucrats fired.

Let's showcase destruction of our heritage

After destroying the historic Queen's Pier for harbour reclamation, development secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor now says public opinion wants it reassembled on the new shoreline instead of where it had stood. Public Opinion? If the bureaucrats cared so much about public opinion, why did they obliterate the pier? The Star Ferry clock tower will be rebuilt on its original site with a gallery to display leftover bits from the demolished Star Ferry pier. Here's a better idea. Let's build a harbourfront museum (with windows, of course) showcasing in every detail how our bureaucrats and the big business cronies destroyed virtually all of Hong Kong's heritage.

(上次更新: 2009-08-23)

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