8 Reasons Why the Northeast New Territories (NENT) Development Plan is Wrong for Hong Kong

Question: What’s the deal with the Northeast New Territories (#NENT) Development Plan? I heard that some companies (or few people) are going to get a lot of money from the land? And something was passed a few days ago in 立法㑹 under questionable circumstances? What happened?

Answer:   The North East New Territories (NENT) Development Project would allow Mainland Chinese to enter Hong Kong without a visa, which effectively removes the border between Hong Kong SAR and China.

However, this is against the Basic Law (HK’s mini-constitution), which stresses “one country, two systems”, where Hong Kong enjoys autonomy despite being part of China.

June 27th, 2014 – Members of the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee voted 29-2 to move forward with the NENT Development Project, despite irregularities with rushed voting procedures.

 

8 Reasons Why the Northeast New Territories (NENT) Development Plan is Wrong for Hong Kong

1. Doesn’t resolve Hong Kong’s Housing Issues

North-East New Territories Development Plan (NENT Plan) involves 614 hectares of land. Of this, 400 hectares of the plan requires the government to buy from landowners.

Residential development accounts for 96 hectares of the project, which is estimated to provide 60700 residential units: 40% public housing and 60% private housing.

Majority of private housing part for project is “low density luxury housing” (54 hectares), and only 36 hectares of the entire project is used for pubic housing – just 6% of the project!

 

2. Destroys Traditional Communities

Despite preserving some traditional villages, over 10,000 people are still affected by the plan.  Homes inhabited by over 3 generations of families will be destroyed in the name of development.

NENT Plan also destroys quality of life for inhabitants in the affected area. Landowning villagers are being forced to leave, but unable to afford replacement homes despite government compensation.

Most of all, all inhabitants will lose their homes and traditions, under the NENT Plan.

 

3. Many Elderly Will Be Made Homeless

HK SAR government’s latest NENT Plan is to demolish the existing elderly home in Shek Tsai Leng in 2 phrases and replace it with a public estate for the elderly in 2023.

It sounds great on paper, but not all the elderly would qualify to live in the replacement estate, which means there will be those made homeless by the development plan.

Even if they qualify to move into the replacement estate, the first phrase of demolition will badly affect the environment and quality of life for elderly who are living in the area.

 

4. Major Conflicts of Interest

The Town Planning Board (TPB) has not approved the NENT Development Plan but HK SAR Government bypassed it to apply for public funding, which is against procedure.

Also, details and size of land acquisitions has not been finalised for proper review.   The Financial Committee of the Legislative Council (LegCo) that approved the plan is composed of legislators with direct conflicts of interests.

Legislators with such conflicts of interest include Ng Leung-sing (Chairman of the Committee who is tied to Sun Hung Kai), James Tien Pei-chun (New World Development), Lau Wong-fat and Abraham Razack.

 

5. Destroys Local Farming and Agriculture

The NENT Plan will destroy 25% of active farmlands in Hong Kong SAR and what remains of locally produced vegetables and livestock along with harming the environment. The HK SAR Government has no plans for real sustainable development in Hong Kong’s rural areas.

NENT Plan will turn remaining farmlands into “to-be-developed” land, which allows developers to continue accumulating land for development into private luxury housing, shopping centres, and other commercial development catering to Mainland Chinese.

 

6. Doesn’t Create Jobs

The NENT Plan claims that it will “..maximise the increasingly frequent economic interactions” similar to ZAPE in Macau and the Shenzhen SEZ as in the past.  Plan also claims the NENT development will provide around 37700 new job opportunities, including research and development, retail and community services.

However, other relevant necessary services including education are not specified.  There is also concern whether citizens who move into the NENT development area will have the necessary skills and qualifications needed to fulfill the demand in these industries or not.

 

7. Ignores Public Concerns

Villagers affected by NENT Plan and activists supporting the villagers have exhausted all methods to urge the government to withdraw the plan.

They have spoken to  relevant government officials, protested outside the Lands Department, collected 50,000 signatures opposing the Plan, and some elderly affected by the plan have knelt at the LegCo begging them to withdraw the Plan.

However, the government and those in power refused to change their minds.

 

8. An Expensive White Elephant

The HK SAR Government plans to spend USD15.5 billion to build a “new Northeast New Territories”. Around USD5.3 billion will be spent on infrastructure, and USD3.9 billion is used for land compensation.

About 95% of land qualified for  government compensation is owned by major developers and indigenous villagers.

Instead of destroying local agriculture and livelihood of people living in the area, the government could have used the money on projects that are more acceptable to Hongkongers.

 

Conclusion

This NENT Plan highlights the collusion between government and big business, and the pro-Beijing camp’s domination of the LegCo.

Chief Executive CY Leung has gone on record saying he wanted the NENT as a special area where Mainland Chinese can enter visa-free.  This would erase the border between China and HK.

The NENT development area also matches the land holdings of major property developers, suggesting collusion between government and big business.

The Plan fails to resolve ongoing housing and job creation issues in Hong Kong. It would also result in loss of locally farmed crops that contribute to a sustainable Hong Kong.

This USD15.5 billion White Elephant project is also a potential waste of taxpayers’ money.

Are you comfortable to bear this cost?  

ACORN is evil

ACORN is not only an organisation that aids and abets in prostitution and human trafficking, it also mistreats their employees and temporary workers to the point they would unionise against the “social-justice” non-profit group.

Below is an article that explores ACORN’s corruption from a different perspective:

The ACORN that imploded

Squeezed between a union drive and a financial crisis, an activist group cracks.

BY PHILIP DAWDY

Hollie Hefferman is one of four ACORN employees laid off after trying to unionize.

Hollie Hefferman is no armchair activist. She spent last fall working for ACORN, a fire-breathing social-justice group that mixes community organizing with in-your-face theatrics. As an organizer in East Portland, Hefferman knocked on upwards of 80 doors a day, trying to convince residents to fight slumlords, loan sharks and City Hall by signing up with ACORN.

Fed up with the long hours and low pay, however, Hefferman and three co-workers decided to train the group’s rhetoric on itself: They mounted a campaign to unionize ACORN’s local office. Two days later, they were “temporarily” laid off.

Hefferman calls it “hypocrisy” for ACORN to market itself as the fifth wave of justice for the downtrodden while turning its employees into food-stamp applicants.

“We felt there was a lot of deceit in the organization,” says Sarah Manowitz, another ACORN organizer.

Andrew Ginsberg, ACORN Oregon’s head organizer, says the layoffs and unionization were not connected.

Hefferman and Manowitz were spurred to become organizers by all the usual liberal impulses: The 22-year-olds thought they could help low-income renters stand up against slumlords. More often, however, they spent their time whipping up public dissatisfaction over city stormwater fees.

Working conditions were less than ideal for the group’s five paid organizers. Employees were required to work 54 hours a week, Saturdays included, for an annual salary of $20,200 (which works out to $7.19 an hour). The two say they were often paid late and, beginning in November, not paid at all.

On Dec. 3, four employees handed Ginsberg a letter outlining their plans to join the Industrial Workers of the World, a.k.a. the Wobblies. Two days later, citing budget problems, Ginsberg temporarily laid off the four employees (the office’s fifth organizer chose not to join the union). They haven’t worked since.

Ginsberg declined to answer anything but the most cursory of questions, citing ongoing talks with IWW Industrial Unit 650.

“The timing would make it suspicious to begin with,” says Linda Davidson, acting officer in charge of the Portland office of the National Labor Relations Board.

ACORN has always been an odd beast. With 45 offices nationwide, the organization presents itself as a grassroots group promoting “people power.” Typically, ACORN crosses swords with slumlords, usurious banks and neglectful local governments. In cities such as Chicago, it has become a potent political force, filling a power vacuum between a distant City Hall and more traditional activist groups such as the Urban League.

ACORN sends organizers to canvas neighborhoods and to sign up members for a monthly fee ranging from $5 to $20. Members are taught various strategies to petition for their rights, including street theater, confrontation, taking over government offices, and demanding that bureaucrats sign pledges.

That’s largely how things have played out for ACORN Oregon, which opened offices in Lents two years ago. After an ineffectual campaign against predatory lenders, ACORN has skittered from one crusade to another, including urban renewal, sewer fees, traffic lights and unpaved streets. Currently, the group is hectoring the city for a traffic light at Whitaker-Lakeside Middle School in Northeast Portland.

These bread-and-butter issues have gained ACORN some traction among eastsiders–it boasts 1,640 Oregon members, most living in outer Southeast Portland. And it has staged some classic confrontations. The most spectacular came last August, when tattooed, tank-topped ACORNites stormed a meeting of the buttoned-down Portland Development Commission, demanding more citizen control of millions of dollars in Lents urban-renewal monies.

Some critics argue that ACORN is a band of self-perpetuating mercenaries, constantly waging new crusades in order to attract more members. Others say its Sharptonian tactics are out of place in a mellow, consensus-minded community like Portland.

Mary Volm, spokeswoman for the Portland Office of Transportation, told WW that the group’s invasion of PDOT’s offices last fall earned it enemies instead of the cooperation it sought.

Meanwhile, ACORN employees are mulling their legal options, which include filing an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board and a wage complaint with the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries. However, Manowitz and her colleagues say they would all return to work at ACORN if they had a union contract.

Talks between ACORN and the IWW begin March 23.

Originally Published on 3/6/2002

Find this story at www.wweek.com/editorial/2818/2532 | Close Window

So ACORN is anti-union, unethical, and aggressive?  We have to bear in mind that these problems existed long before conservatives started gunning them because they decided to fraudulently register Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Clark Kent and Seymour Butts to voter registration forms on Obama’s behalf.  Nevermind the video expose done by James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles

Here is another article that talks about why ACORN is targeted by the GOP