Transcript of SDEV's remarks

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at a media session after attending a radio programme today (February 8):

Reporter: Mr Chan, regarding the setting up of a special arbitration panel, it has been criticised heavily because a lot of property developers work very closely with the architects and there may be a conflict of interests there. How would that affect future property development?

Secretary for Development: I think the criticism is premature. We are well aware of the fact that the pilot scheme needs to have transparency and credibility among the public.  In terms of the arbitration result, the amount of land premium determined will be announced, and we will also be very careful in devising the rules for arbitration, the selection of arbitrators, and also the way to convey the key rationale of decisions made by the arbitrators, so that the whole pilot scheme will have credibility and transparency.

Reporter: How do you feel that the arbitration panel will benefit the public?

Secretary for Development: Any possible conflict of interests will be fully taken into account in the selection of the panel and in devising the arbitration scheme. Please do, in the meantime, bear with us. The Lands Department is working with the Department of Justice in setting out the rules, and in the process of consulting the relevant stakeholders, including arbitrators and other professions.

Reporter: (On a libel case concerning the SDEV)

Secretary for Development: This case is now in the middle of legal process. I have no comment to offer.

Reporter: (On the tender of the Tin Shui Wai Tin Wing Station site)

Secretary for Development: It is an isolated case. The Tin Shui Wai Tin Wing Station site has its unique situation. We should not draw any conclusion from such a single isolated case.

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

Ends/Saturday, February 8, 2014
Issued at HKT 14:29