Date
17 October 2017
William Tang (inset) laments the replacement of shops in Yuen Long catering to locals by stores supplying goods popular with parallel traders. 
Photos: Facebook, HKEJ
William Tang (inset) laments the replacement of shops in Yuen Long catering to locals by stores supplying goods popular with parallel traders. Photos: Facebook, HKEJ

Shopowners help parallel traders ‘rape’ Yuen Long

A famous Hong Kong fashion designer says store owners in Yuen Long are accomplices to the cross-border parallel traders who are disrupting the normal life of residents, Apple Daily reported Friday.

In a column in the newspaper Thursday, William Tang Tat-chi, who was born and raised in Ping Shan, a rural area in Yuen Long, said the shopkeepers have only dollar signs in their eyes and work with parallel traders for their own financial benefit.

He said the store owners’ behavior is no different from helping the traders to rape the place.

Many shops along Yuen Long’s main street have been forced to relocate, Tang said.

They have been replaced with stores mainly engaged in supplying parallel traders, he said.

Tang said the people who benefit the most from the trade are the property owners.

He compared the parallel traders to whoremongers to whom the local officials and elite are eager to show their hospitality by welcoming them into their homes.

Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee chairman Leung Fuk-yuen said earlier that local residents unhappy with the increase in prices in restaurants caused by the influx of parallel traders can choose either to cook at home to save money or to work harder to earn more so they can afford to eat out.

Tang said such remarks are absurd.

He urged officials and the local establishment to listen to the residents’ voices and take their feelings into consideration as the district develops.

Tang said he is personally very much in favor of the rally against parallel traders planned for Sunday in Yuen Long, as long as it is peaceful.

A video clip on Apple Daily’s website showed Tang walking along Yuen Long’s main street.

He pointed out where there used to be stores selling grain and oil. They are all gone now, replaced by pharmacies selling milk powder and diapers and chain stores selling household products popular with parallel traders.

The clip shows parallel traders coming to one of the stores to buy their goods. They then get onto a bus to cross the border to Shenzhen.

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TL/AC/FL

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