Editorial : The government cannot turn a blind eye to private clubs breaching leases

【明報專訊】THE PRIVATE RECREATIONAL LEASE (PRL) policy is beset by a host of problems. Some private sports clubs are suspected of engaging in commercial activities by allowing their restaurants to serve customers who are not club members, thus breaching the lease conditions. Has the Home Affairs Bureau or the Lands Department investigated thoroughly the complaints and done a proper job in upholding the law? The public is doubtful. Lau Kong-wah, the Secretary of Home Affairs, should offer an explanation to the public. The government has been leasing land to private sports clubs charging only nominal premiums, a policy which has long been criticised for favouring the rich and powerful. If any club ignores the terms of the lease and uses its restaurant for moneymaking openly, and the government continues to turn a blind eye to it and deals with it in a perfunctory manner, it will only further infuriate the public.