Illegal rooftop temple prompts unholy ire in Chinese city

Illegal rooftop temple prompts unholy ire in Chinese city

A privately-built illegal temple-like structure is seen on the top of a 20-storey residential block in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen

Thu, Aug 22 2013

By Alexandra Hoegberg

(Reuters) – An elaborate temple-like structure perched on an apartment block in southeastern China is an illegal hazard that should be torn down, residents say. But they may not be as lucky as opponents of a lavish rooftop villa in Beijing. The temple in Shenzhen is believed to have been on the roof for about seven years but the complaints have hit the spotlight only after a doctor in Beijing was given 15 days to demolish his 800-square-metre (8,600-square-foot) house and garden built illegally atop a 26-storey apartment block.Although the roof of the building in Shenzhen is supposed to be a public space, a fingerprint-activated lock stops others from accessing it, according to media reports.

Chen Jiatao, chairman of the complex’s housing management committee, said the temple’s owner must resolve the matter by opening the space to other residents but he seemed to hold out little hope.

“I once spoke with the past chairman, who was here for seven years,” Chen told Reuters Television. “He said this to me: ‘Oh my, don’t you know? This person is an official, he has friends in high places.’ So it’s useless.”

A disregard for laws and regulations by the rich and well-connected is a source of discontent among many Chinese.

The temple and inaccessible rooftop have raised concerns about safety. For residents on higher floors, the roof would be the main escape route in case of fire, while the added weight from the illegal structure could threaten the building’s stability, media reports say.

Apartments in the building sell for around 30,000 yuan ($4,900) per square meter and the rooftop itself is worth more than 15 million yuan ($2.45 million), according to the South China Morning Post.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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