A half-hour minibus ride from Yuen Long are the Mai Po marshlands. With proper foundations great estates have been developed, such as Fairview Park and Pam Springs. It’s quite a different story when landlord fail to drain the land and build on waterlogged soil. The environment might be good for fish farms, but not for humans.
In fragrant violation of land use, an exploitative landlord found a new source of income when raising gold fish became unprofitable. With the conniving assistance of ISS-HK, the Slum Lord turned this property around. It is no longer an abandoned structure, but a ghetto earning 35,000 HK$ in illicit profit from government rental assistance to refugees.
At first glance on a beautiful sunny day, one could easily be mistaken. A grand metal gate ushers visitors into a spacious, tidy courtyard where children love to play. If you venture any further, however, the underbelly of the beast reveals its dark secrets. The stench is unbearable. Insects sting viciously. Toilets don’t flush and every sink is as blocked as the drains they connect to.
It is heart-wrenching to witness the conditions that 31 refugees – including a dozen young children – endure due to ISS-HK’s connivance with an unscrupulous slum lord. Rooms cost the full allowance, but since deposits are not required, this compound is full. It is an absolute certainty that this refugee ghetto would fail the inspection of any agency – except the Social Welfare Department, it appears.