Editorial : A fake review of PRL policy that favours the rich and powerful

【明報專訊】THE GOVERNMENT has published the review of the Private Recreational Lease (PRL) policy. As suggested by the government, private sports clubs who are lessees of recreational sites may continue to lease the sites from the government at one-third of the market value land premium so long as they meet government requirements in terms of contributions to sports development. The flawed PRL policy is a remnant from Hong Kong's British colonial days. It favours the rich and powerful and connives at their privileges. What the public wants is not a discussion of piecemeal changes but a comprehensive review concerning whether a policy that connives at some people's privileges should be abolished to ensure that "promoting sports" will not be used as a pretext to protect the privileges of a few. The public is doubtful of the PRL policy, arguing that in subsidising the recreational needs of a handful of people, it has sacrificed the public interest. However, the review does not study in depth the pros and cons of the policy. Instead, it has in effect given the green light to the continuation of the policy. It merits concern whether fake reviews like this can be taken as a reflection of public opinion.