MTR Corporation

The MTR Corporation should be held responsible for a construction defect at a residential project atop a railway station in Hong Kong forcing the demolition of two blocks of flats, lawmakers have argued.

But according to the transport minister, the rail giant was only the landlord and not in charge of the construction process.

Weeks after New World Development announced it would demolish two of the seven blocks at The Pavilia Farm at Tai Wai and rebuild them after substandard concrete was used in podium walls, lawmakers on Wednesday grilled the minister on the role of co-developer MTR Corp, of which the government is a major shareholder.

MTR Corporation

Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan. Photo: Winson Wong

Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan said the MTR Corp was the owner of the project and responsible for its planning, as well as management of issues related to the site’s railways.

“Based on the agreement [between New World and the MTR Corp], the developer is responsible for designing, constructing, coordinating and supervising the entire project to ensure all construction works fully comply with relevant legal requirements,” he said.

The MTR Corp was only “closely monitoring the possible impact brought by the construction works on the structure of railway facilities”, including the tracks, platforms and overhead lines, he added.

The transport operator had urged the developer to conduct a full investigation and implement proper remedial measures, Chan said. The Buildings Department had required professionals hired for the project to submit a full report by July 30 and was also looking into any possible breaches of the Buildings Ordinance, he added.

New People’s Party chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said the rail operator’s responsibilities in relation to the project remained unclear.

“I’m surprised, as the owner, the MTR Corp, is referring the designing, constructing, coordinating and supervision of the entire project to New World,” she said. “It seems that after the tendering exercise, the MTR Corp has no responsibility in overseeing the entire project, other than trying to see if there’s an impact on the railway facilities.”

Horace Cheung Kwok-kwan, vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress Hong Kong, questioned the role of the MTR Corp’s works team.

“[Their roles] are rather limited or even non-existent,” he said. “How can we be sure that won’t happen again for future projects?”

Cheung pointed out the MTR Corp had significant experience in developing property at its stations, yet “this still happened and it is regrettable”.

Chan said any compensation claims would be dealt with according to the terms and conditions of the contract between both parties, which could not be made public due to confidentiality requirements.

 “I cannot disclose the contents of the agreement,” he said. “To be frank, the government doesn’t have a copy of [it].”

The MTR Corp said it had nothing to add to Chan’s comments.

New World sent shock waves through the city’s property market when it announced it would tear down and rebuild the two blocks still being constructed at The Pavilia Farm project atop the Tai Wai MTR station in the New Territories.

The concrete walls in the podium of blocks one and eight did not meet the requirements of the approved design, it said.

The developer could end up spending as much as HK$1.2 billion (US$154.5 million) – or about 15 per cent of its expected profit for the coming year – to fix the problems.

New World attributed the mistake to human error and said the entire team of project supervisors had been fired.

The developer plans to offer two compensation options to the affected 846 buyers and let them decide whether to keep the property or cancel the purchase.


Japan travel news, japan travel guides, japan holiday destinations and japan reviews

LATEST NEWS

NEWS RELATED

Biel Crystal revives Hong Kong stock offer plan as glass supplier of Apple, Samsung, Huawei raises capital for expansion

Biel Crystal Holdings Limited, the world’s largest maker of smartphone screens, said it applied to raise capital in Hong Kong, reviving the initial public offering (IPO) that was scuttled three years ago amid the escalating trade war between the United States and China. The Hong Kong-based company’s stock sale will…

Read more: Biel Crystal revives Hong Kong stock offer plan as glass supplier of Apple, Samsung, Huawei raises capital for expansion

China stocks: New Oriental, TAL Education scrap earning releases, media calls amid regulatory storm

New Oriental Education and TAL Education, two of China’s largest tutoring services providers, have cancelled their upcoming earnings releases and media calls amid Beijing’s intensified crackdown on off-campus tutoring. The companies separately announced the cancellations on Friday, citing “recent regulatory developments” as the reason, without further elaborating. New Oriental Education…

Read more: China stocks: New Oriental, TAL Education scrap earning releases, media calls amid regulatory storm

From Peregrine to Next Digital: Hong Kong invokes rarely-used powers in company law

Hong Kong’s government this week appointed Clement Chan Kam-wing of accounting firm BDO as a special inspector to look into the financial affairs of Next Digital, the publisher of the now-defunct Apple Daily newspaper. It marks the first time in 22 years the government has invoked a clause in the…

Read more: From Peregrine to Next Digital: Hong Kong invokes rarely-used powers in company law

AB InBev surpasses pre-pandemic revenue with 27.6% organic growth

The combined revenues of the group’s global brands: Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Corona increased by 23 percent globally and by 19.3 percent outside of respective home markets. AB InBev reported organic revenue growth of 27.6 percent to $13.53 billion in the second quarter. The Belgium-based group also posted earnings before interest,…

Read more: AB InBev surpasses pre-pandemic revenue with 27.6% organic growth

Hyundai Motor, LG Energy to build $1.1 billion EV battery plant in Indonesia

The South Korean companies, which are set to form a 50-50 joint venture for the plant, will begin mass production in 2024 from the factory. Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution Ltd. will invest $1.1 billion in a lithium-ion battery cell plant with an annual capacity of 10 GWh…

Read more: Hyundai Motor, LG Energy to build $1.1 billion EV battery plant in Indonesia

Toyota sells 5.47 million vehicles in H1 to outpace VW, retains crown as world's best-seller

It is the second year in a row for Toyota to be the world’s top automaker in the first six months. Japan's Toyota Motor Corp sold a record 5,467,218 vehicles globally in the first half of 2021, up 31.3 percent on-year, to outpace German archrival Volkswagen AG and retain its…

Read more: Toyota sells 5.47 million vehicles in H1 to outpace VW, retains crown as world's best-seller

US sets new disclosure rules for Chinese IPOs coming to American stock markets

US securities regulators plan to require additional information from Chinese companies seeking to go public on American exchanges, saying the move will protect domestic investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday that Chinese firms would have to disclose the listing of shares through a structure called Variable Interest…

Read more: US sets new disclosure rules for Chinese IPOs coming to American stock markets

Hong Kong bank deposits rose 11.5 per cent in the first half as investors chased highly anticipated IPOs

The amount of money deposited in Hong Kong’s banking system jumped in the first half as investors targeted a series of hotly anticipated initial public offerings in the city, with the sector also benefiting from the economic recovery. Deposits in the local currency stood at HK$7.87 trillion (US$1.01 trillion) at…

Read more: Hong Kong bank deposits rose 11.5 per cent in the first half as investors chased highly anticipated IPOs

Latest round of Hong Kong’s Silver Bonds attracts record US$8.77 billion from senior savers

Disney sued by Scarlett Johansson over ‘Black Widow’ Disney+ streaming

A Twosome Place: South Korean coffee chain was put up for sale

Nongshim to raise prices of its instant noodle products

NCSoft announces ‘Blade & Soul 2’ launch date

Will the Delta variant derail Asia’s economic recovery?

Boeing cancels layoff plans as revenue starts to increase

Hong Kong’s US$700 billion July market sell-off evokes memories of China’s 2015 stocks rout

OTHER NEWS