Political parties, including the pro-democracy ADPL and populist party Civic Passion, participated in a protest against Link REIT’s outsourcing of market management on Tuesday.
The real estate investment trust sparked controversy in February when it announced that it had outsourced management at Cheung Fat market in Tsing Yi, leading to a stallholders’ strike against an expected rise in rents. It had also previously outsourced market management for other markets, including Leung King Estate in Tuen Mun, where security officers allegedly beat up illegal street hawkers.
ADPL suggested to RTHK that there could be an online crowdfunding campaign to buy out Link REIT. Kalvin Ho Kai-ming, the convenor of Youth ADPL, said that “[the] movement is to stop Link REIT from doing such things. If the government does not act, then we have to save ourselves. We will collect funds. We save our own markets.”
Both the ADPL and Civic Passion had more than ten members participating, reported RTHK.
After market management in Cheung Fat market was outsourced to Uni-China (Market) Management Limited, stallholders received a letter ordering them to vacate their stalls for renovation by the end of September. It is unknown whether they will be allowed to continue their businesses in Cheung Fat market later.