This post is also available in: Spanish
An article appeared on the blog, Lantau Confidential – NOTES FROM THE BIG ISLAND. It concerns a series of banners that promote the government’s ‘develop Lantau’ message. These have ‘popped up’ all over South Lantau. “The unusual feature is that no one has put their name to them,” reports the blogger, local resident Robin Clark .
“What’s also unusual is that, unlike the government grand plan that includes inflatable water toys, cable cars and artificial islands, these messages include practical ideas that could improve people’s lives, like better Internet and a functioning sewage system.
“That said, these promotions are on the same page with the government on conservation, with one banner asserting that environmental protection should not take precedence over development,” Robin Clark adds.
While this can be viewed as a ‘small pond’ matter, fact is, this is happening across Hong Kong. The divide among the territory’s people’s is not just about top-level issues such as universal suffrage, the loyalty of the chief executive to local affairs rather than to Beijing, or differences in opinion about the worth of major infrastructural projects as per the bridge crossing the Pearl River or airport expansion and express railways.
Big Business is bulldozing its way into the daily life of citizens in an uncaring way that is leaving Hong Kong bereft of its green heritage. Soon there will be no place left for weekend excursions and Hong Kong will be like Shenzhen – mile after mile of buildings, roads and concrete.
The majority of people are so intent on making a living they don’t see what is happening so the few that are more aware are taking up the challenge, thus the likes of Lantau Confidential on the English speaking side – on the Chinese speaking side they are very much more visible in their protests.
Hong Kong certainly is changing, and for the better on the infrastructural front with so much money being poured into the place and social welfare ever on the up, if far to slowly. Not so on the political front or press freedom front which reflects from the one party state of China itself and its totalitarian rule.
But still, everyday freedoms are very much part of Hong Kong. Kicking back against the profi-centred developers and construction firms in league with a business dominated government is the problem that is being tackled on the street in a plethora of small activities and that’s the way to go. Never letting up, finding out who is behind these projects that speak of offering local employment yet which are manned by a majority of non-locals. all across Hong Kong.
The illustrated original can be viewed at Lantau Confidential