City Forum fails to achieve its purpose
Every Sunday a City Forum is held in Victoria Park and aired live. It allows people from different backgrounds to voice their opinions. The topic is always controversial, and the forum rarely ends peacefully.
I think the City Forum should be cancelled, because it deepens social differences. Undeniably a fierce battle between different points of view can raise public awareness. However, it can also worsen relations among people.
The fact is that the City Forum often ends in anger. Also, I don't think it can achieve the purpose of allowing two-way communication among citizens. The people voice their comments and argue over the topic. On the other hand, the guest speakers, who usually have important roles in society, just sit there appearing to listen to our needs. When it's all over, nothing changes. It's just meaningless one-way communication.
Maybe that is one reason citizens nowadays feel they must use such aggressive methods to make their dissatisfaction heard.
Rainie Hui Oi-man
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Rainie. When people are passionate about something, they will often argue heatedly. This is good, even though it might seem as if nothing fruitful comes from it, because it gives people the chance to let off steam and to hear both sides of the story.
The very fact that people attend the forum is proof of its usefulness. The last thing we want to do in Hong Kong is to cut off people's avenues of expression.
The fact that nothing seems to change is not really the fault of the forum. It is a more fundamental issue of people having no real power. Until that changes, people are likely to be increasingly frustrated.