League of Guia Lighthouse Protectors ‘spreads the message’
Macau Post Daily 05-02-2007
The recently founded League of Guia Lighthouse Protectors held a public meeting yesterday morning to “spread the message” to shield the view of, and view from, the world-heritage monument from intrusion by several high-rise building projects in the Outer Harbour.
About 30 people, mostly students, attended the meeting at the Guia Hill. During the open-air meeting, members of the League welcomed the recent pledge by the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government that its new headquarters project in the Outer Harbour will not be higher than the 90-metre Guia Hill. Originally, the project was planned to be 99.9 metre tall to symbolize Macau’s return to the motherland in 1999.
However, the members cautioned that residents might still be disappointed at the “final result,” considering that it was still not known what the final height of the new Liaison Office headquarters would be, as well as the eight of two other high-rise building projects at the foot of Guia Hill in Zape.
One of the three controversial high-rise projects at the foot of the hill is reportedly planned to reach a height of 135 metres. The Guia Lighthouse on top of Guia Hill is about 15 metres tall.
Participants in the meeting said the controversy over the three high-rise projects at the foot of Guia Hill was due to “lack of urban planning, lack of transparency and lack of public participation.”
The League, which has launched a website to promote its activities (http://guialighthouse.blogspot.com), has launched a campaign to take its cause to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Paris.
Last year, disgraced Secretary for Transport and Public Works Ao Man Long is understood to have suddenly lifted the government’s height restrictions at the foot of Guia Hill, a move that resulted in the Guia Lighthouse controversy. Mr. Ao was remanded in custody last December for his alleged involvement in a massive public works corruption scandal.
Previously, the height limit around the Guia Hill stood reportedly at about 20 metres only.