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November 7th, 2009:

Tourism legislator should take fight for clean air to the streets

Edward Yau Tang-wah was testing electric car outside Legislative Council. Will Mr. Yau agree the car park beside Legco should closed down, or he need to encourage the peers to use electric car? (Source: Ming Pao)

Edward Yau Tang-wah was testing electric car outside Legislative Council. Will Mr. Yau agrees the car park beside Legco should close down, or he needs to encourage his peers to use electric car? (Source: Ming Pao)

When Paul Tse Wai-chun, the Legislative Council representative for tourism, was asked about the effect of recent record street-level pollution on tourism, he responded that the government was doing its best to remedy the situation. Really?

When we can no longer take our tourists to Mong Kok to visit the street markets, because the pollution levels are so high there, we have to question what the administration is doing.

Very little, judging by the ever-present PCCW, Hutchison 3G and CSL promotion minibuses that are parked on the streets of Mong Kok, hogging drop-off points and forcing other vehicles to double park and block the traffic.

At metered facilities, vehicles covered in promotional banners are parked there for no reason other than to provide a low-cost but highly visible advertising medium. This is despite the fact that commercial activities are prohibited at parking meters.

Some of this activity, and the accompanying illegal parking, is taking place within sight of Mong Kok police station. Where are the traffic wardens and patrolling officers who should be on the streets, writing tickets and getting the traffic moving?

Last week, while enjoying the serenity of Kowloon Park, I was asked to move out of the way to allow some government cars to drive by. What were these cars doing inside a public park, particularly when there is an MTR station close by?

It is high time that the car park beside Legco was closed down and Legco members and government officials forced to walk on the streets with the majority of the population.

We expect our Legco members to battle for the right of tourists and locals to clean air, not to recycle the feeble excuses that the Environmental Protection Department trots out about pollution coming from across the border.

It is being generated right here on our streets, under our noses. Take action, Mr Tse.

Source: SCMP, Martin Brinkley, Ma Wan