Date
22 October 2017
Police use pepper spray (inset) to control the protesters, who were among the buyers of Pearl Horizon flats. Photos: All about Macau/ Facebook
Police use pepper spray (inset) to control the protesters, who were among the buyers of Pearl Horizon flats. Photos: All about Macau/ Facebook

Macau police clash with protesting property buyers

Macau police clashed with rallyists protesting the government’s decision to reclaim the land earlier awarded to a developer who failed to finish the residential project within the legal time limit.

The protesters, numbering around 1,400, were among the buyers of flats at the Pearl Horizon project in Areia Preta Macau, which was being developed by Polytex Corp. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polytec Asset Holdings Ltd. (00208.HK), Apple Daily reported.

Police on Sunday used pepper spray to control the crowd after road traffic was blocked and some even lay down on the streets.

At least two of the protesters were arrested, and some of their companions tried to open the police car in an attempt to free them.

The land in question has remained mostly idle since Polytex won an auction to turn it into a residential development 25 years ago. The government has decided to reclaim it and initiate a new round of open bidding.

Pearl Horizon has so far sold 3,020 flats, and most of the buyers have paid stamp duties for the property.

The government promised to return the taxes paid but said they should seek the return of their deposits for the property from the developer.

Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on said the government will deal with the issue according to the law, and try its best to protect the interests of property buyers.

But he stressed the land had to be reclaimed and would be opened for a new bidding.

Protesters on Sunday assembled at the construction site before marching to the SAR government building, Polytech headquarters and the Liaison Office.

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KZ/AC/CG

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