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Old January 20th, 2010, 05:41 PM   #281
gakei
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Originally Posted by Scion View Post
Nice interiors, looks even better than the airport. Just don't like those irregular shaped buildings on top.
Looks like salmon sashimi if painted orange.

Anyway the buildings are not part of the XRL project. Those shown should only be for illustration only.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #282
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It's true Hong Kong's relatively 'small' investment will reap great benefits as the CRH network will be quite big in China itself, and we will be a part of it, but given the technical limitations, it's not really going to give that much time benefit when trains can only run at 200km/h during the HK stretch.

I'm looking at this project with great jealousy while the cultural district next door is still sitting empty, with the great Foster canopy axed because of 'budget' limitations. Really shows how the government takes the importance of our arts scene.
I am pretty sure that the supposedly low-density development above the terminus will not end up so low-density (may be still low-density for Hong Kong) at the end. To put it in perspective, the building over the Frankfurt Airport high speed railway station (Airrail Center) is huge; it floats over a relatively small and certainly narrow strip of land.

Pedestrian access to the termnius/area will probably be not an issue as eventually a spider web of foot-bridges and tunnels (subways) will be built.

The current "indecision" over the WKD is probably a blessinig in disguise for the moment anyway as whatever is going on at the WKD will interfere with the construction of the terminus. On the other hand, the priorities of the Hong Kong government simply reflect the mentality of the local population. The majority of the local population still very much prefers economic development through infrastucture projects to the kind of culture the WKD is going to showcase. 11% of the Frankfurt city government´s annual budget is used to promote and nuture culture.

Hopefully, the government will eventually build truly world-class facilities for the WKD when constructions at the WK terminus settle down. Union Square, Kowloon Park, the WKD, the WK highspeed rail terminus, Ocean Terminal and the Star Ferry Plaza can form a new dynamic and cosmopolitan district of Hong Kong.

Again, what kind of buildings/complexes will be built on the large half-circle plot of land directly north of Union Square?

Last edited by aab7772003; January 22nd, 2010 at 05:08 PM.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 07:49 PM   #283
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Democrats find rail room to maneuver
14 January 2010
The Standard

Pan-democrat lawmakers have secured a room inside the Legislative Council for an expert team to be at hand during the politically-charged debate on funding for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

Legco's Finance Committee has set tomorrow and Saturday for the debate to discuss the HK$67 billion project, after the vote has been delayed twice.

Civic Party vice-chairman Albert Lai Kwong- tak said he and six other railway experts will take turns at Legco advising lawmakers _ including those supporting the government's current proposal _ on technical issues.

``It is not a filibuster tactic. We have the duty to provide information. Any lawmaker can come forward to seek advice,'' Lai said, adding his group will keep in touch with legislators inside the chamber via e-mail and text messages.

The experts include railway development expert Ronald Taylor and urban geography academic Leung Kai-chi.

``Two to three of us may be in the room at any one time, and we can suggest follow-up questions on the railway project to lawmakers,'' Lai said.

The news came as more than 30 pro-government legislators signed a letter urging committee chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing to set aside 20 more hours for the debate. Lau had earlier set 10 hours _ six tomorrow and four on Saturday. The 33 signatories fear the pan-democrats may use filibuster tactics to delay a vote for a third time.

``We strongly urge you [Lau] to prevent any abuse of the procedures to prolong the meeting so the Finance Committee can vote on the issue and make a final decision,'' the legislators said.

Liberal Party chairwoman Miriam Lau Kin-yee said: ``We decided to take this step because we fear that a decision cannot be made within 10 hours. We are afraid that some lawmakers will keep throwing out questions ... Many Hongkongers are getting impatient.''
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Old January 26th, 2010, 05:16 PM   #284
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It's not over, rail-link protesters say
25 January 2010
South China Morning Post

The war between the government and opponents of the HK$66.9 billion high-speed railway to Guangzhou was not yet over, activists vowed yesterday.

It could be litigation, or scandals uncovered about the project or officials involved, but Chu Hoi-dick of the alliance - comprising Hong Kong Catholic Diocese members and people from the Post-80s anti-express railway group - promised it would be something new and eye-catching.

"[Halting the project] would be extremely difficult, but we don't want to give up just yet," he said. "We believe we have not yet exhausted all our means." League of Social Democrats lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip has threatened to file for a judicial review against the Legislative Council's decision to grant funding to the project.

The alliance plans to stage another protest on February 7.

Meanwhile, participants in the Legco protest last Saturday, which ended up trapping transport minister Eva Cheng inside the building for six hours, plan to complain about police use of violence against the protesters.

Student activist Christina Chan Hau-man said police held her by the throat and pushed her backwards that day.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen condemned the protesters as irresponsible disrupters of social order two days after the clash.

But protesters said yesterday it was the police who triggered the clash. "They fired pepper spray at us without warning while we were peacefully chanting slogans," actor Banky Yeung Ping-kei said.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 08:46 PM   #285
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Young voices unheard on most advisory bodies
28 January 2010
South China Morning Post

Activists who besieged the Legislative Council in protest against construction of the Hong Kong-Guangzhou high-speed rail link may have had a point when they said the government did not listen to young people.

In a written reply to the legislature yesterday, Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing said only 25, or 6.4 per cent, of all advisory and statutory bodies had non-official members aged 30 or below.

South China Morning Post research revealed that the average age of non-official board members of six influential statutory bodies approaches 60 - retirement age.

Appointing older people created a risk that the government was not hearing younger citizens and decreased the breadth of discussion on key issues before they became the subject of legislation, officials say.

As of September 30, only 10 of 356 non-official board members of 24 major statutory bodies, or 2.8 per cent, were aged below 40.

Non-official board members are not public servants and are recruited from the public.

Only 25 advisory and statutory bodies have appointed non-official members aged 30 or below, with those such as the Dogs and Cats Classification Board, the Appeal Board Panel under the Rabies Ordinance and the Commission on Youth having the highest percentage of members from the "post-80s generation".

No chairman of an advisory or statutory body is aged below 30.

The average age of non-official Airport Authority and Public Service Commission board members when they were appointed in 2008 - 58.3 years - tops the list among 24 major statutory bodies, according to Home Affairs Bureau statistics.

Five of the nine Airport Authority board non-official members are over 60.

The Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority comes second with an average age of 58.2, followed by the Securities and Futures Commission's 58.

The average age of Commission on Youth members when they were appointed was 46.

In a July 2004 report, the Home Affairs Bureau said young people, who could provide a useful balance to the interests and views of older decision-makers, were under-represented on statutory and advisory bodies. The bureau proposed that more under-40s should be appointed to provide alternative views. But no target was set.

An official who preferred to remain anonymous said an increasing number of older people were serving on major statutory bodies because senior officials were inclined to recommend people with whom they were familiar, who enjoyed a good reputation in their own professions and who had already been appointed to major statutory bodies.

"As members of major advisory and statutory bodies are ageing, the government is running the risk of being out of touch with the pulse of the general public," the official said.

Dr Ray Yep Kin-man, associate professor with City University's department of public and social administration, said the membership of most advisory bodies was heavily tilted towards entrepreneurs and senior executives.

He said senior officials preferred to build a "comfort zone" on advisory and statutory bodies by appointing like-minded individuals.

But that practice undermined the quality of discussion on potential legislative issues during the pre-legislation period.
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Old January 31st, 2010, 04:49 PM   #286
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Survey to map state of buildings before work begins on tunnel
30 January 2010
South China Morning Post

A survey to record the condition of old buildings in Tai Kok Tsui that might be affected by construction of a tunnel for the high-speed railway is to be carried out next month. A report will be made available to residents and if their flats are damaged during construction, repairs will be begun within seven days.

Yau Tsim Mong district councillors were briefed on the measures yesterday, with officials keen to calm fears of residents on the tunnel route. Residents have led strong opposition to the railway project, fearing their blocks could be damaged because the railway runs under their homes - many of them more than 40 years old.

Undersecretary for Transport and Housing Yau Shing-mu said after yesterday's meeting that the MTR Corporation was experienced in building railway tunnels and the authorities were satisfied there should be no building safety issue.

To address residents' concerns, Yau said a survey to determine the conditions of the buildings that might be affected by the rail project would be conducted after the Lunar New Year holidays. "A report will be made available to residents so there will be proof of the building conditions in case there are claims of damage in the future," Yau said.

Reports of damage during construction would be responded to within a day and repair work would start within a week, Yau said.

But some councillors remained unconvinced. Henry Chan Man-yu said: "Residents are still very scared. Mr Yau boasted that the Buildings Department had checked the buildings and found that they were safe. But minutes after we were told of this, the news of the building collapse in Hung Hom broke. And when we told Mr Yau of the news, he just did not know what to say."

Yau declined to comment on the Hung Hom case.

"In the Tai Kok Tsui case, a structural survey has been done and it has been satisfied that building a tunnel under the buildings should be safe and should not cause problems to the structure of the buildings," he said.

The legislature this month approved HK$66.9 billion in funding for the controversial high-speed rail project, which is to link the city to the national express rail network.

Opponents said the authorities were forcing through the project without enough public scrutiny.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 06:52 AM   #287
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Cops grilled over rail siege rumpus
3 February 2010
The Standard

Security chiefs stood their ground in the face of intense questioning from lawmakers over their use of force during an anti-Express Rail Link protest outside the Legislative Council last month.

At a meeting of the Legislative Council security panel yesterday, the Security Bureau and police defended law enforcers' actions on the night of January 16, when the Finance Committee passed the almost HK$67 billion funding for the controversial rail project.

Lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan raised concern over the use of pepper spray, questioning why some officers still sprayed demonstrators when they had already dispersed.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Austin Kerrigan admitted 13 officers had used pepper spray on three different occasions during the scuffles but did not answer directly when asked whether police had given ample warning.

``Warnings are required to be given where practicable. Obviously, if someone is jumping on you and assaulting you, there is no time to give a warning. You just have to react,'' he said.

Kerrigan said seven police officers had sustained injuries. One suffered a fractured finger. He was taken to hospital and given 10 days' sick leave.

Another officer was hit in the eye by a bottle and required hospital care, he added.

``Freedom of assembly, association is not a license to assault police. That's where we draw the line. We will not tolerate that,'' he said.

Legislator Cheung Man-kwong blamed the police for instigating chaos by putting up barricades near the Bank of China headquarters, which blocked the way of the protesters as they marched around Legco.

He said the move angered the demonstrators, leading to the scuffles.

But Undersecretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said police superintendents decided the tactics and deployment depending on the situations.

Lawmaker Emily Lau Wai-hing asked if the police were capable of protecting legislators' right to get in and out of the Legco building in the case of similar protests in future.

Lai said police had advised lawmakers not to leave when protesters besieged the premises as it was very chaotic outside.

Lai also expressed doubts on the claim of a netizen that the plastic bottle that hit legislator Philip Wong Yu-hong in the head was hurled by a plain-clothes police officer.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 01:51 PM   #288
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50,000 posts OMG
THAT IS CRAZYDUDE

anyway on a lighter note . I guess if you are reporting each move on the HK political opera . I guess you will end up having lot of posts.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 03:10 PM   #289
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50,000 posts OMG
THAT IS CRAZYDUDE

anyway on a lighter note . I guess if you are reporting each move on the HK political opera . I guess you will end up having lot of posts.
Well .. I've been around for many years.

There's actually a lot more in the Chinese press which I'm not posting, and that includes analyses and editorials. I mainly bring the key highlights in the English press.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 05:33 AM   #290
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Planning Application of the Site of the Guangzhou - Shenzhen - Hong Kong Expess Rail Link West Kowloon Terminus Bounded by Lin Cheung Road, Jordan Road, Road D1 and Austin Road West

http://www.info.gov.hk/tpb/tc/plan_a...113_0_gist.pdf
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Old February 12th, 2010, 02:41 PM   #291
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MTR urged to ease residents' fears over impact of rail link
9 February 2010
South China Morning Post

The MTR Corporation has been urged to adopt a risk strategy normally used only for high-risk infrastructure such as chemical plants and oil refineries to evaluate the impact on old residential blocks of construction of the express rail link to Guangzhou.

The HK$66.9 billion rail project, which will pass under 19 buildings in Tai Kok Tsui, has worried residents. They fear the blocks, built 40 years ago, may not withstand the construction work.

Professional Commons, a lobby group opposed to the link's alignment, said the MTR should do a qualitative risk assessment to predict the likelihood of work on the link causing a disaster and assess the likely number of deaths resulting from such an accident.

"There are many unforeseeable risks in a works project despite all the surveying work," the group's chairman, Albert Lai Kwong-tak, said. Carrying out such an assessment could ease residents' fears.

Qualitative risk assessments are usually conducted on projects near infrastructure that may pose a safety hazard to a neighbourhood, such as a chemical plant.

Some old buildings in Tai Kok Tsui are built on soil and have short concrete footings rather than pilings anchored in rock. However, the MTR said that, based on data that it collected from a comprehensive investigation, the railway tunnel would not affect the structural safety of the buildings' foundations.

"A typhoon actually has a greater loading on buildings than our tunnel boring machine, which works 20 metres below ground," an MTR officer in charge of the project said.

Land outside the Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui subsided by about a metre when the MTR's Kowloon Southern Link was being built two years ago.

Dr Greg Wong Chak-yan, a veteran civil engineer who has worked for the MTR, said ground settlement could cause buildings to subside. However, the impact of the railway work should not be that great. "The tunnel boring machines are so sophisticated these days it is impossible to induce large-scale ground settlement, and it takes a fairly big hole to cause even a little subsidence to a building," he said.

The MTR is assessing how the work will affect 3,500 flats in the area and will provide each household with a copy of the survey results.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 05:09 AM   #292
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Railway face-off turns into numbers game
1 February 2010
The Standard

When it comes to figures, opponents of the express rail link to Guangzhou claim the transport chief simply can't add up.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng Yu-wah said yesterday 140 of the up to 160 households in Choi Yuen Tsuen have agreed to make way for the line.

However, a member of the concern group opposing the railway said at least 70 families are refusing to move and will announce an escalation of their campaign later this week.

About 120 households signed up for compensation before the link's HK$67 billion funding was approved by the Legislative Council's Finance Committee in January.

The project entails the construction of sidings and an emergency rescue station in Shek Kong, which will require the removal of about 150 households in Choi Yuen Tsuen and 10 other families nearby.

Cheng said some residents who signed up earlier have already received replies from the government. Some households will receive up to HK$600,000 in compensation.

She also urged those who have not signed up to act soon with applications for compensation having been extended for one month to the end of February.

However, Choi Yuen Tsuen Concern Group chairwoman Ko Chun-heung questioned the official figure, saying about 70 families have refused to budge.

``We were born and grew up here. We saved every penny to build our homes. We will not leave,'' Ko said.

Under the government's HK$86 million compensation package, qualified households who have been resident in the areas designated for demolition since the 1980s will be given a cash allowance of HK$600,000 each or HK$500,000 plus the right to buy Home Ownership Scheme flats in the New Territories. Those who want to buy HOS flats will be exempted from a means test.

All of the affected households will also get a one-off allowance of between HK$3,000 and HK$10,000 each for relocation, the government said.
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Old February 19th, 2010, 07:21 AM   #293
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Express rail link activists branch out to make their own luck
16 February 2010
South China Morning Post

Activists from a group opposed to the HK$66.9 billion Hong Kong-Guangzhou express rail link drew three fortune sticks on behalf of the city to urge people to fight for their own destiny.

Lee Yu-mung drew a stick numbered 74, classified as "unlucky", for families such as those in Tsoi Yuen Tsuen, where homes will be pulled down to make way for the link.

Rather than relying on fortune tellers at the Che Kung Temple in Sha Tin, the twenty-something activists from the XRL Alliance used the internet and came up with their own interpretations, as an analogy for not relying on the government to make decisions for them.

Lee said the number 74 meant luck had yet to reach the city.

Fung shui consultant Li Yuen-chin said the unlucky stick was merely a warning. She said grass-roots families needed to abandon some dreams - because they were unattainable - and focus on other goals.

When interpreted specifically for Tsoi Yuen Tsuen, Li said the drawing of the stick meant the villagers had different worries but hoped that they could negotiate a way out.

A spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said two households affected by the rail project had collected an ex-gratia cash allowance last week.

Of the 140 households registered for rehousing packages, the government has approved nearly 30 applications. The registration deadline has been extended to February 28.

Au Wah-yan drew a stick numbered 89 classified as "average" and covering the finances of grass-roots workers. "If the government can be conscientious and do things fairly, it can redistribute wealth," she said.

Cheng Ka-kui drew the third fortune stick for lost property - referring to Hong Kong's lost ideals. The number 24 stick is classified as "average", and the group said it pointed to greed as the cause of many problems.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 06:58 PM   #294
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THB approves rehousing assistance applications from XRL affected villagers
Monday, February 15, 2010
Government Press Release

Two households affected by land resumption and clearance under the project of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) collected an ex-gratia cash allowance last week, a spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau (THB) said today (February 15).

The rehousing packages exclusively applicable to villagers affected by land resumption and clearance under the XRL project was approved by the Executive Council in October last year. Funding approval was endorsed by the Legislative Council in January. Among the 140 registered households, the government has approved nearly 30 applications and has informed the villagers of the results progressively.

"Villagers, who have been offered the ex-gratia cash allowances, can contact the Rail Development Section of the Lands Department for collection of the allowance," the THB spokesman said.

"The remaining cases will be handled soonest possible. The relevant government departments will continue to take initiatives in visiting the villagers to understand their needs and render assistance to them where appropriate. We also explained the details of the rehousing packages through distribution of the newsletters (see Annex) to the Choi Yuen Tsuen villagers last week."

The package proposed for the Choi Yuen Tsuen villagers affected by the XRL project goes beyond the present compensation and rehousing arrangements under the existing policy and offers various options to meet their different needs.

According to the rehousing package, subject to meeting prescribed eligibility criteria, households with special rehousing needs will be offered an ex-gratia cash allowance of $600,000, or an allowance of $500,000 and an opportunity to purchase a flat in the New Territories under the Home Ownership Scheme without being subject to the Comprehensive Means Test.

For farmers who want to continue the agricultural activities, they can buy or rent land to continue with farming activities and apply to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conversation Department and the Lands Department for short-term waiver on such land to build a temporary structure for residential purpose.

All affected households will be eligible for a domestic removal allowance, ranging from $3,000 to $10,000.

The registration deadline has been extended to February 28 to facilitate villagers. The spokesman urged the affected villagers to register with the government as earliest as possible so that relevant departments can proceed with the vetting procedures as soon as possible.

http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/2...1002120263.htm
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 06:55 AM   #295
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In 40 years, they will be one country anyway
But why our tax should go to HK, you now HK doesn't pay tax to the central government. it make no sense to let poor part of country to support the rich party financially.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 04:07 PM   #296
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^ I like that thinking
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Old February 24th, 2010, 03:09 AM   #297
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But why our tax should go to HK, you now HK doesn't pay tax to the central government. it make no sense to let poor part of country to support the rich party financially.
Also the whole attitude of Hkers as if they are carrying this backward nation forward .When you talk to them is just disgusting .

The other day on facebook . I came across one HKer on facebook abusing china everywhere calling for democracy and wishing HK would turn into pre 1997 era . Which made no sense as in reality pre 1997 HK had no form of democracy whatsoever. So it was a higly self contradictory message she was spewing all over the place . Then finally she said . Well i dont like to be called a communist so that is why i am against China . I am like wow firstly communism is an European invention . created developed propounded propagated from Europe. It has nothing to do with the Chinese philosophical association with any form of communism . Then she again went silent and she repeated the whole thing over and over . Basically in days prior to 1997 . The honk kongers were daily fed with god save the queen between every news program . Imagine that being played in todays hong kong with chinese national anthem .


I hate it when others think i am communist. I was really off my chair laughing.Luckily for hong kong the businesss class and the educated class (not the left leaning professors do realize that growth in china is far from being a zero sum game .
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Old February 24th, 2010, 04:43 AM   #298
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Basically in days prior to 1997 . The honk kongers were daily fed with god save the queen between every news program . Imagine that being played in todays hong kong with chinese national anthem .
No comments on what you have said, but just to correct the two things you talked above (quoted) actually is happening the other around. The British didn't play the national anthem at prime time betweens news, but the Chinese is doing that everyday now.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 07:27 PM   #299
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sometimes I think that the people in HongKong are simply a bunch of whiners who doesn't know how good they're having it.

Us here in Toronto we'd be dancing in the streets if somebody offered us a high speed railway to our downtown.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 08:01 AM   #300
superchan7
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When a society matures, dissent and other interest parties become more powerful. How the govt. handles dissent is a different story.

Wishing HK would return to colonial rule is naive at best. As a SAR, it now has the opportunity (and responsibility) to grow up and set a good example for the rest of China and many other countries. As HKers we ought to be proud of our past and present, and hardworking for our future.
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