There will be a rally tomorrow (Feb 19) organized by more than a dozen associations against the cross border scheme to allow more mainland private cars to drive into HK. The rally will start at 3pm at Sogo department store in Causeway Bay. Protesters will then march to the new government headquarters in Tamar.
If you are in HK on 19 February (Sunday), join me in the rally against the Scheme.
If you can read Chinese, this is my personal statement against the Scheme.
If you cannot, here are the succinct reasons why I am, with so many other Hong Kongers, so much against the scheme:
1. HK is such a small place with congested roads. The scheme will only lead to more pollution and congestion on the road. What is more, the car fuel standards in the mainland are lower than those in HK. More mainland cars on HK’s roads can only worsen the already very poor air quality here, not to mention the congestion on the road.
2. HK does not need more cars. It needs better use of its precious land and build facilities such as cycle paths for citizens here to have a better quality of life. While cities like Amsterdam are striving for providing more and better public transport and cycle paths for its citizens, Hong Kong government is stupid enough to go against the trend by putting more cars on the road, just for the politically correct move of “integrating Hong Kong with mainland”.
3. With the public transport (MTR) so developed and the city small enough, where is the need for the mainlanders to travel by car in the city?
4. The Scheme aims to encourage more mainland tourists to Hong Kong. But evidence has shown that the influx of mainland tourists is doing harm to the city. We do not need more mainland tourists!
5. Mainland drivers’ reckless way of driving and their left-hand driving vehicles compared with Hong Kong’s right-hand driving ones raise concern over road safety. Here’s what a reader wrote to me today on my Chinese blog:
I share a piece for you to support your move. This morning (18 Feb 2012) at around 6:21 am. I was driving on the fast lane in Aberdeen Tunnel towards Causeway direction. At the tunnel exit, I saw a BMW X-series private car bearing a China license plate on slow lane was resversing backward. He missed the Causeway exit and was making a ridiculous reversing. This is not uncommon in China. I saw this first time in Hong Kong. Please ask Transport Department to share the CCTV recording to give you this evident to support your protest statement.
At present, there are already 2,000 mainland registered cars on Hong Kong’s roads. The scheme would allow more private cars to travel between Hong Kong and Guangdong Province.
In the first phase of the pilot scheme, Hong Kong drivers can apply for a seven-day permit to drive in Guangdong from March 30 this year. In the second phase, each day up to 50 cars from Guangdong Province can enter Hong Kong. The government maintains that the timetable for the implementation of the second phase is yet to set. But you know, once the first phase is implemented, do you think the second phase will not go ahead?