Elsie Tu

Cordial exchange of views better than confrontation

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 October, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 October, 2002, 12:00am

While I wish Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun all the best as new head of Hong Kong's Catholic Church, his accusation that Hong Kong is now a 'toadying political culture' (Sunday Morning Post, September 22) sticks in my throat.

Certainly, Hong Kong was a toadying political culture in the colonial days, before this bishop spoke up on social ills.

Confirmation of this comes from a report in the Sunday Morning Post, on March 10, when academic Sister Beatrice Leung was reported to have said that 'in the past the Church had suppressed internal demands to speak out on social justice for fear of embarrassing the colonial administrations. In return, the Church was rewarded with the role of a 'contractor' to provide education and social services'.

It is true that toadying in the colonial days was a prerequisite to doing public service as I discovered when I refused to toady up to corrupt officials, but preferred to follow my conscience, and suffered the consequences. Since Bishop Zen did not speak out in those days, perhaps he should avoid using such strong accusations on political matters today.

There are still plenty of social issues that require our attention without taking political sides.


Kwun Tong