The government will submit an amendment to the law which requires industrial buildings built before 1973 to install sprinkler systems, Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po has said in an interview with RTHK. He said that the cross-department investigative team had concluded previously that it was technically feasible.

A fire at a mini storage in an industrial building took the lives of two firefighters earlier in June, prompting the government to look into how industrial buildings are used. The government previously announced that six buildings were violating terms set out in their leases.

Secretary of Development Paul Chan Mo-po. File Photo: GovHK.

See also: Gov’t promises crackdown on industrial building land lease breaches following mini storage unit fire

“I hope that people don’t underestimate our determination,” he added, saying that the bureau is looking into using executive power to initiate the procedure of retaking industrial buildings which are being used in ways unspecified in their leases. He also said that there were more than forty buildings which have not rectified their use.

CY re-election 

When asked if he would support the Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying for his next term, he said that he has his own judgements. However, he complimented Leung for his efforts with regards to land supply and said that he put in a lot of effort to do things for Hongkongers.

A development model on Lantau at the Development Bureau. Photo: GovHK.

See also: Mysterious Lantau development model shown to Zhang was ‘not final’, says Development Sec.

Chan has met opposition for his policies, including a proposal to develop Lantau Island, which caused residents to block a road in protest earlier this year, asking the government to fix traffic problems before development. Green groups also urged the government not to chop down over 3,200 trees for a cycling track in the New Territories.

Chan said that he had tried to provide more land for use, but he “affected a lot of those with vested interests.”


Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.