PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 November, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 November, 1994, 12:00am

I FELT most disturbed by some of the statements contained in David Chu's article, 'We made today's success and tomorrow belongs to us' (South China Morning Post, October 18).

I have no problem with the sense of pride in the success of Hong Kong which permeates the article. It is a legitimate sentiment in which we can all share. What disturbs me is the gratuitous denigration of other societies. Mr Chu rightly points out that Hong Kong, Britain and India share broadly the same legal and administrative systems. In order to support his statement - by itself unexceptionable - that it is the people and not the legal and administrative systems that make for the success or lack of it in a society, he points out that Britain 'lags behind Hong Kong' and that India 'flounders in many ways'. And then he goes on to say: 'If you put all the law books and civil service manuals in the San Diego Zoo's monkey pen, it would not influence what goes on in there.' That kind of writing is, to put it mildly, in bad taste. Mr Chu lists a number of qualities attributable to the people of Hong Kong: culture, heritage, ethics, character, discipline, and pride. I see myself as a proud member of Hong Kong's multi-ethnic society. But if I have to justify my pride by such mud-slinging, I would stake no claim to such pride and would dissociate myself from the culture (!) and heritage that spawns such an article.

If the choice of two predominantly Chinese entities (Hong Kong and Singapore) to hold up as examples of success stories arising from their people's culture and heritage, and the choice of two non-Chinese societies to illustrate the consequence of an implied lack of these qualities is deliberate on the part of Mr Chu, it smacks dangerously of racism.