I see that the SCMP is apparently still printing nonsense (paid subscription required) from Simon Patkin. I hadn't noticed his article last Friday (mainly, I suppose because I didn't read the paper that day), but there have been a steady stream of letters to the editor pointing out the stupidity of his views so I went back to find out what he had said. it was well worth the effort.
It seems Simon is still deeply concerned about the Hunghom Peninsula business (when SHKP and NWD bowed to pressure from campaigners and decided to renovate rather than demolish several apartment blocks).
Capitalism is based on the ethical foundation that man (and woman) must be free to use his mind to express his thoughts and to produce things based on his own thinking. In this way, capitalism alone allows man to choose the values that he thinks will help sustain his life, to rationally create these goods or services and to keep the rewards. This is all the Hunghom developers wanted to do.
It is this system of morality that the state must protect by enshrining the right to life, liberty, property, free speech and the pursuit of happiness. There is no place for mob rule or green theory here - just limited accountable government. For companies, this morality includes protecting the rights of their shareholders above trees and animals to maximise profits.
Trees? Animals? What's that got to do with Hunghom Peninsula?
Simon's idea of the ethical foundation for capitalism is really rather eccentric. If you were to ask people what that meant, my guess is that 99.9% of respondents would say that companies have to act ethically, towards their employees, customers and the general public, and that they have an obligation to consider the environmental impact of what they do. Which is exactly what the two property developers did with regard to Hunghom Peninsula. They made a commercial decision that demolishing perfectly good brand-new apartments was very likely to upset potential customers.
If Simon actually ran a real company I think he would probably understand this rather than claiming that the developers were "brought to their knees". Instead, sitting in his "free-market think-tank" (which I'm guessing is him and his computer in the spare bedroom) he comes up with these total absurd arguments.
Actually, I like to imagine Simon as a small businessman driving through a red light on his way to see a customer. When stopped by a policeman he would explain that he had no choice, because he has to behave rationally and waiting at traffic lights is reducing his profits - and his shareholders would never allow that.