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Officials Cave In To Big Business

SCMP – Updated on Jan 07, 2009

The letter from Dave Ho, of the Environmental Protection Department (“Comprehensive measures to clean up air”, December 29), misses the point completely.

Discussing endlessly whether one monitoring system is better than another or whether it is easier for an ordinary resident to understand the figures when he or she is choking due to poor air quality is largely irrelevant. The government’s reticence to ban high-sulfur fuels from the special administrative region is a major pollution issue in Hong Kong. These fuels, which are banned in many places including, I understand, the US, Bangkok and Singapore, are cheap, but environmentally damaging.

The reason I believe the government has taken no action to ban them is the pressure from big business and fear that some trade may be lost to Shenzhen on a cost basis. So, once again, we are sacrificing the health of Hong Kong people for the potential profits of a few businessmen who then fly out as soon as they can to less-polluted places. So much for a “people’s government” and Asia’s “world city”.

Nick Bilcliffe, Lamma

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