The government should display the bricks used in the Mong Kok unrest to exhibit local culture and history to tourists, like the Berlin Wall, says People Power lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip. He also voiced his opposition towards “politically controlled” tourism, which he said would lead to stagnation.

Albert Chan spoke out against “politically controlled” tourism, which he said would lead to stagnation. Photo: Screen cap from LegCo.

The Panel for Economic Development met on Monday to discuss Hong Kong Tourism Board Work Plan for 2016-2017 and other matters. At the meeting, Chan said, “You could use the Mong Kok incident to create a tourist attraction spot. Like the fall of the Berlin Wall, you could sell the Mong Kok bricks. There will be plenty of people who want to buy them.”

Chan further suggested turning the Occupy movement into a tourist attraction, making commercial products like T-shirts which he thought would be popular. He also suggested emphasising Hong Kong’s special history of being a former colony for tourism purposes, which he said is rare nowadays.

Large number of bricks were removed from pavements during the Mong Kok unrest on February 9. Photo: Kris Cheng, HKFP.

He hit out at current tourism policies which he thought only served the purposes of mainlandisation of Hong Kong and the interests of property developers, instead of local interests and development.

“Tourism in every place should be developing the local culture, local history and local authenticity,” he said. “If you look at tourism management by communist countries, they’re doomed. They need to be politically correct and centrally controlled.”

The Mong Kok unrest broke out on February 8 over the government’s clearing of street hawkers. Many bricks were removed from pavements and some were hurled at policemen by those involved in the unrest.

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Hermina Wong

Hermina is a Hong Kong writer and journalist. She graduated with a degree in politics from Cambridge, and is interested in international affairs, particularly those related to China, the EU and the Middle East. She also enjoys political satire.