Mong Kok

For those of you that don’t know Mong Kok is not something you catch because you didn’t wear a johnny at the local whore house but a place in HK about ten minutes walk from where I live.

It made the news recently when a group of locals started throwing bricks at the cops because the government wants to remove their businesses from the streets. These businesses consist of small stalls set up to sell all sorts of goods and grub to passers by. They’ve been here for decades and are feature that give the place character as well as providing a means to make a living for those who can’t afford the bloated rents that faceless property owners demand.

So let me sum up the situation for you: Rents and leases here increase every two years and I have spoken with people who have had 300 percent added to theirs which has resulted in them having to move location. Others simply shut down. This has impact on business at all levels and over the years I have seen some very well known international companies call it a day as well as smaller local businesses that had been going for decades.

Now the person sitting in the big boss chair just now made his fortune through property so there is no point in expecting him to do anything to change the system that made him rich. However when the Michelin book turns up in Kong to celebrate street food it is probably a good idea to leave the stalls selling the food alone instead of trying to shut them down. Especially when you are the reason they have to set up stalls in the street instead of being able to rent or buy a store to operate from. Unfortunately the big boss has the intellectual capacity of a brain damaged rodent and is probably still trying to work out how to tie his shoe laces so, expect to see more bricks.

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