http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_deta ... con_type=1
Ma startles lawmakers after detailing $25b spent at park
For the first time, a government minister gave a detailed breakdown of the HK$25 billion it has spent so far to get the Disneyland Hong Kong theme park up and running, and then startled lawmakers by saying the government might ultimately sell its share.
Less than two months after Disneyland Hong Kong opened, Frederick Ma said Wednesday that the government could sell off its 57 percent share in the theme park.
"In the long run, the government may consider, in the light of the big market, [the] small-government principle to divest its shareholdings in the company [Hong Kong International Theme Park Limited, a joint venture between US-based Walt Disney Corporation and the Hong Kong government], at an appropriate time when it is in the overall economic interests of Hong Kong to do so," Ma said during a Legco meeting.
But Ma's statement gave no timetable or any indication that the sale would be any time soon.
"The park has opened for [less than] two months. We should wait until the park is running smoothly before we consider any move [to sell]. Up to now we don't have any plans about selling off the government's stake," he said.
At the meeting, Ma broke down the government's expenditure on construction, saying that reclamation and other infrastructure works cost HK$13.6 billion - including road projects, cleaning of contaminated soil and compensation for affected fishermen. Land acquisition and clearance accounted for HK$1.6 billion.
Another HK$3.3 billion was for equity injection and a HK$6.1 billion loan will go to Hong Kong International Theme Park Limited.
So far, Disneyland has not said how successful the park has been since it opened and has refused to divulge attendance figures.
Since the September 12 opening, a string of incidents has troubled the park. In the first month alone, a reported 50 rides were brought to a halt by technical issues which triggered the safety system. On October 11, a former worker climbed to the top of a rollercoaster and held a knife to his neck to protest against his dismissal a week earlier.
Other workers have complained of unfair treatment and 10- to 13-hour workdays.