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Archive for the ‘Environment in Hong Kong’ Category


39 Conduit Road - Transparent or Not?

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Henderson Land announced in October 2009 that 24 flats at their newly developed residential site on 39 Conduit Road had just been sold and one of them for a record of over HK$ 70,000/sq. ft..

Until today 29 March, 2010 - only 1 of the 24 transactions have completed, the remainder are yet to be completed. The Development Bureau’s 25 March press release is as follows:-

With regard to the transactions of 24 units of "39 Conduit Road", a
Government spokesman said today (March 25) that the Lands Department had
received the reply to its inquiries from companies of the Henderson Land
Development Co Ltd (the Companies) yesterday (March 24). "The Companies
replied that they had entered into a verbal agreement with the 24
purchasers to extend the completion of the sale and purchase for a period
of between two to four months, therefore no assignment had been executed or
delivered to the Land Registry for registration. Also, the Companies said
that the completion of the sales might be further extended," the spokesman
said. "Given that the Companies had entered into new agreements with
the purchasers verbally and could not be definite about whether the
transactions could eventually be completed, the Lands Department issued
another letter to the Companies today (March 25) requesting further
information. "We will continue to closely monitor whether the
transactions will eventually be completed and whether there is any
anomaly."

In normal sales and purchase of properties, the buyer and seller enter into agreement in writing and the buyer usually pays a deposit to guarantee the purchase and if the buyer fails to complete then he/she will forfeit the deposit paid and if the seller fails to complete then the seller has to return the deposit to the buyer and pay a compensation fee equivalent to the deposit. It is peculiar that no deposits have been forfeited for these transactions and furthermore the standard completion period is 2 months and it seems peculiar that Henderson should only negotiate the extension for completion when pressured by the government to provide answers 5 months after the buyers and Henderson Land entered into contract.

Moreover, it seems peculiar that all 24 buyers bought using British Virgin Island companies or other vehicles whose buyers cannot be looked up, so the identity of the buyers are to-date unknown.

Lastly, according to information from the Companies Registry, different shell companies were used to buy the 24 units. All of them used the same law firm, Lo & Lo Solicitors, also registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Hong Kong’s Mandatory Provident Fund

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

The Mandatory Provident Fund was setup by the Hong Kong government as a means to tackle the aging population problem which indicates that in a few decades time the ratio of retirees to workers will be much greater than it is now. Each worker contributes a mandatory 5% of their monthly salary to the fund and their employer contributes the other 5% to total a 10% in monthly contribution. The logic behind the scheme is understandable and is sound in its thinking.

However, this house believes that the government should not have given control of the funds to corporations; because the funds effectively become capital for banking corporations to invest in any way they deem. Even though the funds are held in vehicles called trust funds the investment decisions are ultimately dictated by corporations. This house believes that the government should have taken the responsibility of managing the fund themselves. The national insurance in the UK which is a similar fund which is managed by the British government and the system works.

This house believes that by appropriating workers' hard earnt cash to corporations it further consolidates the corporations' power in policies that govern Hong Kong. The government is therefore becoming more and more reliant of corporations and less and less able to manage affairs by herself.

Turning off engines at Traffic Lights to curb pollution

Friday, November 16th, 2007

The government recently tabled an initiative to reduce pollution which was for all roadusers to have to switch off their engines whilst waiting at traffic lights….  it must rank as one of the most ludicrous ideas I have ever heard….

Have they thought about how much fuel gets used during the startup of an engine? Have they thought about the wear and tear this would have on cars? Have they thought about the negative impact on traffic this would have?

Pollution in Hong Kong

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

I can't understand why everyone in Hong Kong is asking the government to spearhead initiatives to curb pollution in Hong Kong. It is well-known that ~80% of the pollution comes from the Pearl River Delta region so even if Hong Kong didn't have cars, we would still have serious pollution issues to deal with. Perhaps a more sensible idea would be for the Hong Kong Government to disucss these issues with China. Shouldn't we try to address the real cause?

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