Lantau Concreting Committee, Hong Kong: Dispatch I

Good day to you. It gives me great pleasure to visit this site, to give a preliminary report on the work of the Lantau Concreting Committee [posted Sept 2004] – which, you must understand, is not connected with or to be confused with the Lantau Development Task Force. For while the LCC is similar in considering what should be done with Hong Kong’s largest island, Lantau, and some of our goals are similar, we in the LCC are different. While the Lantau Development Task Force aims for “sustainable development”, we are proud to stand up and say we promote unsustainable development.

Yes, no wishy-washy pandering to green groups or the general public, no shilly-shallying or beating about the bush for us: we see great opportunities for short-term gain on Lantau, and we’re dedicated to making the most of them. Carpe Diem Screwem – Seize the Day and the Hell with the Consequences – is our motto.

Now, you may ask what do we know about Lantau – are we familiar with the island? Well, of course we know Lantau – we often jet in and out of Hong Kong airport, and glance at the island through the plane and airport windows.

In fact, one of our committee members even visited southern Lantau recently, and discovered what many of us had long suspected: this island is shockingly undeveloped! Yes, it’s hard to believe in this day and age that the Pearl River delta region still boasts a sizeable island with monasteries and mountains, ravines with waterfalls, tranquil coves, and peaceful villages. We’ll soon change that.

Lately we’ve had a few meetings in our secret lair, examining a map I picked up from the Hong Kong Tourism Board, and discussing how to carve up Lantau. And we’ve come up with a fine mix of projects.

Fast-track development of Lantau Island

Naturally, we fully support the Lantau Development Task Force’s proposal to fast-track the development of a Value Added Logistics Park in northeast Lantau. This will add a lot of value to logistics, maybe even doubling or tripling their value, and will naturally involve constructing some grandiose buildings for storing the logistics while the value is added. We all agreed it should add value to our property and construction stocks portfolios, as well as create jobs for the marching minions.
Now, some small-minded greenies are already moaning that this might harm the Tai Ho Stream, with its high diversity of freshwater fish including the salmon-like ayu. But we say: much as you can’t make an omlette without breaking eggs, you can’t build a white elephant without crushing frogs – and fish, and dragonflies.

We’re also fully behind the development of a tourism node in Sunny Bay. But we don’t believe this should be an ordinary tourism node. No! – it must be a world class tourism node, a huge, outstanding tourism node. We propose this tourism node should be at least 80 storeys high, with parking for fleets of coaches, and a berth for cruise ships.

I’m so enraptured by this idea, I suggested we can have a promotional slogan: The Universe has Supernova – and Hong Kong has a Super Node … Lah! While we’re developing our plans, one of our committee has promised to buy a dictionary so we can look up the meaning of “tourism node”.

Mickey Mouse projects

We also love ongoing projects like Disneyland – after Hong Kong was freed from over 100 years of humiliating British rule, how right it was to give Mickey Mouse the 50% rights to a piece of Hong Kong for 100 years. Mickey can really help save Hong Kong. We say, if ever there was a truly world class Mickey Mouse project, this is it!

But why have one Mickey Mouse project, when you can have two? As well as Disney, we can build a fun park on Lantau, east of Tung Chung. Nit-pickers might ask who will have fun here – will hikers, naturalists and others who currently love Lantau have fun in the park? Well, the answer is very simple: construction companies and property developers will have fun. In fact, they’ll have so much fun as the government underwrites the fun park, they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

The Battle for Lantau will continue

Then, of course, there was the Hei Ling Chau superprison: what an audacious idea this was!, promising to ruin scenery, and complete with a great bridge the planners said was essential.
Tragically, however, the government has shelved the idea because of a few spoilsport, initerfering greenies. How deeply, deeply sad that such selfish individuals can stand in the way of progress. Well, let me tell you this was only round one – the Battle for Lantau is far from over, and we have far more in the pipeline than just a prison. Indeed, don’t think shelved means scrapped; some ideas are simply too visionary, just too far ahead of their time.

Of course there is one big idea whose time has come. Because unsustainability is our watchword, we say a hearty “Three Cheers!” to the Zhuhai-Hong Kong bridge, which will make landfall on Lantau. What a sublime scheme; so much concrete, so much money.

What else can we squeeze onto Lantau? Well, there are tourist districts to build: plenty of concrete there, as we create mile after mile of Mediterranean style villas.

And we propose a Citadel of Smog for Tung Chung. Here, though there is little local pollution, northwest winds from the Pearl River factories and traffic and power stations can create the dirtiest air recorded in Hong Kong. The citadel will have viewing galleries, so tourists can be startled by the scenery of smog. We plan to establish an autumn festival: Let’s Celebrate the Smog, and have already commissioned a famous Chinese artist to portray high-rises swathed in swirling, misty, life threatening smog.

We also plan the Palace of Virtual Reality. Here, visitors will don headsets linked to computers, with sound and 3D graphics that will transport them to a virtual land with monasteries and mountains, ravines with waterfalls, tranquil coves, and peaceful villages.

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