- Shek Kip Mei
Shek Kip Mei (Chinese: 石硤尾), originally known as Kap Shek Mi, is an area in
New Kowloon, the North Eastern Kowloon Peninsulaof Hong Kong.
A major fire on
December 25 1953, destroyed all the makeshift homes of the immigrants from Mainland Chinathat had fled to Hong Kong, leaving 53,000 people homeless.
After the fire, the governor
Alexander Granthamlaunched a public housingprogram to introduce the idea of "multi story building" for the immigrant population living there. The new structure would standardize on fire-flood-proof construction. The program involved demolishing the rest of the makeshift houses left untouched by the fire, and the construction of the Shek Kip Mei Low-cost Housing Estate (石硤尾廉租屋邨) in their place. The apartments were small, only about 300 square feet (24 to 28 square metres). Each unit housed 5 people, and each building had a capacity of 2,500 people [Wiltshire, Trea. [First published 1987] (republished & reduced 2003). Old Hong Kong - Volume Three. Central, Hong Kong: Text Form Asia books Ltd. Page 7. ISBN Volume Three 962-7283-61-4] . The rent was HK$14 a month. In contrast, the rent for a commercial store downstairs was HK$100 per month. Foreign tourists visiting the apartment complexes referred to them as "prisons". Indeed, many scholars have argued that the government has been overstating the role of the fire in the history of public housing in Hong Kong [Smart, Alan. (2006). The Shek Kip Mei Myth: Squatters, Fires And Colonial Rulers in Hong Kong, 1950-1963.] .
The Government has backed off from its plans to redevelop the area, following great opposition from many who believe they symbolized the history of Hong Kong. An alternative plan to renovate it for use as a hostel has also been proposed.
Shek Kip Mei now has several types of housing including the public apartments,
Pak Tin Estateand private housing such as Beacon Heightsand Dynasty Heights. Several malls and churches can also be found in the area now.
Since 1979 it has been served by
Shek Kip Mei Stationon the MTR.
An Internet crime consisting of a 16-year-old girl was involved and eventually became a famous incident on May 9th, 2008. Since April 27th, it was said that the 16-year-old girl told her parents that before leaving her home in
Tai Poto meet her online friend in Shek Kip Mei, she lied to her parents that she would be going out for a short lunch. The parents waited for days, but still the girl didn't come back. Then they called the police, and it turned out the the girl was continously chatting and planning to meet with her friend as soon as the police uncovered the record of what the girl did on the computer, which was said to have caused the girl missing.
As soon as the girl arrived at Yan Fat building in Shek Kip Mei, she discovered that her online friend was actually a 24-year-old man, named Ting together with another man named Au. Ting actually used the Internet to look for someone to have sex, and as soon as the 16-year-old arrived, both the men and she took drugs. After that, Ting
beheadedthe girl and threw the head into the sea off Kowloon City Pier, and grinded her skin and limbs together. They flushed her flesh down the toilet and sold her bones at the Shek Kip Mei market. Luckily, the police arrived in time to uncover the incident as soon as they discovered some flesh and blood remains on the clothes that belonged to the girl. Eventually, the men confessed and were arrested.
Shek Kip Mei Estate
* [http://www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk/English/exhibition_highlight_file/exhibition_sel_past_result.asp?exid=45 Pictures of the 1953 fire and early resettlement buildings]
* [http://www.hkadc.org.hk/cac/home.php?show=en Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre project website]
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