Secretary for Development speaks about Land (Compulsory Sale for Redevelopment) (Specification of Lower Percentage) Notice

Following is the transcript (English portion) of the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, speaking to the media about Land (Compulsory Sale for Redevelopment) (Specification of Lower Percentage) Notice today (March 18):

Reporter: What sort of mediation initiatives are you considering and when will they be launched? Will you also consider plugging the loopholes that many law makers have raised?

Secretary for Development: I have actually answered the latter part of the question. I don't believe that there are fundamental problems or loopholes in the implementation of the Land (Compulsory Sale for Redevelopment) Ordinance. As some law makers have pointed out after reading extensively the judgements handed down by the Lands Tribunal, the system is extremely robust. In fact at this morning's session of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers' Building Division, there was a building structural engineer who has been involved in the work of the Lands Tribunal. He can assure me that the Tribunal takes it very seriously the building conditions in order to satisfy itself that the piece of land should be redeveloped based on the state of repairs. So that is point number 1. Point number 2, on your first question on mediation, as I said the Secretary for Justice's Mediation Working Group has just launched its extensive public consultation report last month. I certainly embrace this philosophy that as far as possible we should go for mediation to avoid the unnecessary litigation, confrontation and so on. So we will work very diligently with the Judiciary as well as the Department of Justice. On the other hand, we will work closely with the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors and Hong Kong Housing Society on how fast we could put in place the mediation mechanism. I can assure you and the Legislative Council members that we are very serious about following up on this. As the Honourable Miriam Lau suggested, it is a matter of resources that I will try my very best to make available the resources on mediation mechanism to be put in place.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Thursday, March 18, 2010
Issued at HKT 18:19