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In Conversation with Allan Zeman (26 Jun 2014)

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We’re talking about 2017. The system needs to change in Hong Kong. At the moment the system seems to be broken, it seems to be stuck. If we continue in the old way - 1,200 people electing the Chief Executive - no matter how good he or she is, it’s a very difficult job because one man on his own cannot solve the problems when you don’t have the public behind you that say: Hey, only 1,200 people elected you. I am not behind you." Allan Zeman At the end of this month, Allan Zeman is stepping down from his role as chairman of Ocean Park. Under his guidance, the number of visitors to the park rose to 7.73 million in 2013 from 2.95 million in 2003. During his tenure he turned a HK$4 million deficit in 2003, the year SARS struck, into a HK$127.2 million surplus. A 2007 article in Forbes magazine, called Zeman "Hong Kong's Mouse Killer" because of the success that Ocean Park enjoys in comparison to Hong Kong Disneyland. But Ocean Park is just one of the many enterprises Zeman has steered to success. He has expanded his Lan Kwai Fong restaurant interests into mainland China. He has interests in film production, fashion, property development, shipbuilding, Macau gambling, and more. He is a member of an assortment of government committees, boards and advisory bodies. Zeman describes himself as an optimistic person, but he does feel Hong Kong is facing considerable pressure and conflicts right now. Talking to Stephen Davies, he points out that runaway property prices in Hong Kong have made life difficult for many and placed a lot of extra pressure on families, including children. He is particularly concerned about the unhappiness and pessimism he sees among the young. And he doesn’t think our present government, lacking a public mandate, is necessarily able to cope with it. But while Allan Zeman acknowledges Hong Kong is facing internal conflicts, he does believe that ultimately there is a light at the end of the tunnel. "believe that Hong Kong people are very sensible. At the end of the day, we will come up with a compromise. We always … we’ll push each other to the brink, to the end, and it looks like we’re about to fall off the cliff, but suddenly we sit down and compromise."

Program: 
In Conversation
Publish Date: 
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Station: 
RTHK
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