SDEV speaks on unauthorised building works at No 4 Peel Rise

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, and the Deputy Director of Buildings, Mr Hui Siu-wai, today (June 22) on the unauthorised building works at No 4 Peel Rise:

Reporter: How do the public know that you have no conflict of interest in this investigation?

Secretary for Development: As I have said, the investigation and enforcement work against unauthorised building works in Hong Kong is subject to the Buildings Ordinance. The Director of Buildings, a very seasoned and experienced civil servant, is the Building Authority under the Buildings Ordinance. Within the ordinance, there are safeguards and there are a whole team of professional colleagues in the Buildings Department to enforce the legislation. There is absolutely no room for a non-professional like myself to interfere with the inspection, the investigation, the professional judgement or the enforcement. But of course, this being a place proud of the rule of law and public accountability, we are also subject to open scrutiny and the Legislative Council's scrutiny.

Reporter: Would you say that the illegal structures that the Buildings Department found today are very common in Hong Kong and can be removed very quickly?

Deputy Director of Buildings: Some of the unauthorised building works that we discovered yesterday and today are very common and many of them are quite minor. Actually, under the Minor Works Control System, they can be removed by the owner by appointing a registered minor works contractor.

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


Ends/Friday, June 22, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:45