Date
24 November 2017
Protesters led by Roy Tam (left) hold a placard assailing legislator Michael Tien for proposing the expansion of the solo tourist scheme for mainlanders during a rally at a shopping mall in Tsuen Wan. Photo: SocRec
Protesters led by Roy Tam (left) hold a placard assailing legislator Michael Tien for proposing the expansion of the solo tourist scheme for mainlanders during a rally at a shopping mall in Tsuen Wan. Photo: SocRec

Protests against parallel trading spread to Tsuen Wan

More than a dozen protesters staged a rally against parallel trading at a shopping mall in Tsuen Wan on Sunday.

Members of the Population Policy Concern Group and the North District Parallel Imports Concern Group chanted slogans asking the government to cancel multiple-entry visas for mainlanders and cap the number of individual tourists from the mainland.

The group also protested outside legislator Michael Tien’s office at the Discovery Park shopping mall, demanding that he withdraw his proposal to further open the solo tourist scheme for mainlanders.

Tien, a member of Tsuen Wan District Council, has proposed that three more mainland cities be added to the list covered by the individual visit scheme, which allows travellers from the mainland to visit Hong Kong and Macau on an individual basis.

The protesters held placards saying “Tien Puk-sun does not represent me”, “The National People’s Congress does not represent me” and “Cancel multiple-entry permits”. Tien was in Canada at the time of the protest, the report said.

Roy Tam, convenor of the Population Policy Concern Group, said the individual tourist policy and multiple-entry permits were responsible to the surge in the number of visitors from the mainland, who overwhelm the city’s facilities and services, including shopping malls in Tsuen Wan that cater to parallel traders.

Many residents in the district have voiced concern over the disruption caused by daily waves of mainland tourists and parallel traders, Tam said, adding that the same situation is already happening in Tuen Mun and Sha Tin.

Thousands of mainland visitors, including parallel traders, flooded into districts close to the border to shop for products and gifts before the Lunar New Year.

The shoppers were attracted by the better quality and cheaper prices of goods sold in Hong Kong, but locals blame them for product shortages and soaring prices of basic goods in the city.

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TL/AC/CG

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