Activists from the League of Social Democrats join a protest targeting the MTR Corporation. Photo: RTHK
Protesters gathered outside the venue for the MTR Corporation’s annual general meeting on Wednesday, calling for the government to buy back the railway company.
Members of the League of Social Democrats (LSD), who joined the demonstration, complained that the corporation makes large profits from rail fares and its properties.
They said the MTR should be a public entity so decisions on fares can be made by lawmakers and executive councillors.
The LSD’s Raphael Wong said the government, as the biggest shareholder in the MTRC, had connived with the corporation to use a controversial fare-setting formula to maximise profits. He said this year’s fare freeze was just a one-off “political decision”.
Earlier this year, the decision was made to keep the Fare Adjustment Mechanism following a lengthy review prompted by annual fare hikes which came despite large MTRC profits.
The government later explained that it is unable to come to a new agreement with the MTRC on the way fares are set because it can’t override the interests of minor shareholders in the company.