Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at a media session after attending a radio programme today (August 6):
Reporter: What are the difficulties in tackling sub-divided flats in industrial buildings and do you have a clear timetable on the legislation?
Secretary for Development: We have encountered a couple of problems when we try to take enforcement actions in industrial buildings which have sub-divided flats for residential purposes. The first difficulty is evidence gathering. When the officers of the Buildings Department want to get entry into those premises for inspection, and for gathering evidences for prosecution, they often come across uncooperative attitude of the tenants or the owners. As a result, the work got delayed. We are considering delegating authority to a certain rank of colleagues from the Buildings Department to enable them to get early entry into those premises. That is number one. Number two, we are considering criminalising the activities of operating sub-divided flats in industrial buildings. Third, the Lands Department is considering further strengthening their enforcement actions, for example, vesting the relevant units back to the Government. We are taking a multi-pronged approach to deal with the issue.
Reporter: How long will it take?
Secretary for Development: The first round of this exercise is set at six industrial buildings. The deadline we gave to the operators is the 29th of August. At the current stage, we have not set a definite timetable for the whole exercise yet.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Saturday, August 6, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:42