It’s verging on criminal to allow a public asset as glorious as Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour to be used for little more than water traffic. Harbourside plans have been much talked about and an authority to oversee development has been proposed, but it could yet be years before any of its ideas come to fruition. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has pre-empted the decision-making by suggesting that there is no better place to go for a lunchtime swim or to fish. He’s not entirely wrong, though the thought that an hour is all that’s needed to get from the office to the lapping waves to take a dip or cast a line and grab a bite to eat before returning is nothing short of demented.
In a blog posting last week, Leung envisaged a swimming platform near the IFC from which office workers could take a 20-minute dip during their lunch hour as an alternative to going to the gym. Praising fishing as a good way to relax, he also suggested a 45-minute break to sit by the shore and cast a line. Understandably, he has been ridiculed for a host of reasons, among them the time constraints faced by workers, the low quality of harbour water, heavy ferry and pleasure-boat traffic and the impracticality of going fishing for such a short time during the hottest and busiest part of the day. Put that down to someone out of touch with everyday people.