As the last of the protestors were dragged away by police from Queen’s Pier Tuesday night, I could not help but feel emotions of sorrow, to anger, to helplessness. Hong Kong is losing its heritage, its history and its sense of self. We are stuck with a government that believes economics can solve everything but they are sorely wrong.
Buildings and sites of historical importance help to shape and make a city. They remind us of the importance of our past and inspire visions of the future. They are the key elements in the making of a place. They are relics that our city can be proud of. They should be celebrated and protected, but instead we are witnessing their slow and systematic assassination by a government made up of businessmen that have become far removed from the people whom they supposedly represent.Chief Executive Donald Tsang claims that being overzealous in saving the past may hurt Hong Kong’s competitiveness, and has asked activists to take a more balanced view toward economic growth and conservation. It’s sad to hear our leader make such ludicrous and uniformed statements such as this. The Queen’s Pier area and the entire Central Harbor will be replaced with a new highway and shopping mall. Is it all worth the destruction of the entire Central Harbor front? The very “Fragrant Harbor” that made this city? Do we really need yet another shopping mall to maintain our “competitiveness”? Please tell me where is the balance?One by one we are seeing the places of yesterday being destroyed, demolished, killed. Star Ferry Pier was the beginning and now Queen’s Pier. Who knows what’s next? But as developers set their sights on projects that they can milk more government money out of, I’m sure this will not be the end. One by one they will go and pretty soon there will be no reminders of the past, no more history, only endless rows of interconnected, over air-conditioned shopping malls forcing us to consume, consume, consume and forget about the past.Star Ferry Pier now gone.
To see where I stole these photos from and read more about Star Ferry and Queen’s Pier check out these Wikepedia pages: