• Thu
  • Jul 24, 2014
  • Updated: 10:10am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 October, 2012, 7:18am

Mainland help in a tragedy is not interference

Tragedies are supposed to unite people. But it seems even the ferry disaster is not enough to overcome our anti-mainland sentiment. In the days after the accident, the deputy head of the liaison office was criticised for visiting victims at Queen Mary Hospital and for offering aid to the Hong Kong government. Guangdong officials were rounded on for deploying ships to try to help. Even President Hu Jintao , Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice-President Xi Jinping were faulted for their "high-profile" response.

Theirs was "an over-expression of concern", one seasoned commentator foamed, because "it was not an accident with tens of thousands of casualties". Perhaps he had a casualty threshold beyond which our national leaders may express concerns, but not before! Another said it was a "complete waste of resources" as mainland salvage ships could not enter our shallow waters. This went on and on.

Suppose a massive accident had occurred in Shenzhen waters and Hong Kong had offered assistance. Would they criticise local officials for failing to mind their own business under "one country, two systems"? Let's get real. In a major disaster, it's common for even enemy countries to offer aid, and for federal governments to rush in to help state officials.

Hong Kong people have always been the most generous donors when it comes to humanitarian causes on the mainland. Many have volunteered to help disaster victims, sometimes even under perilous conditions. Still, others consider it their patriotic duty to criticise one-party rule on the mainland and even call for regime change because they care about China and its future.

But turn the situation around and we will be crying foul about interference and "Sinofication".

Whence comes this double standard? I grant you that the large influx of mainland visitors has put a serious strain on our social and economic infrastructure and that Beijing is hardly a model government. But at the roots is our ingrained sense of superiority over the mainland and its people. We think we know what's best for us and the country but not the other way around. That's why we have this hypersensitivity that at times borders on the paranoid and the absurd.

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ling2777
The meaning of "stand-by" would help us to understand why external help is called. If we have our focus on saving of human lifes as we should, we would not even have noticed that there were mainland salvage vessels around.
aksc
let's think laterally
lucifer
The main issue is that the help was not needed. It made HK look weak and served as a propaganda tool for the mainland. Yet, they had no problems using the tragedy for their own purposes. I don't thin HK has "anti-mainland sentiment," its just become apparent that they are too involved in our way of life over here and that we need to preserve what we have and if that means pushing back…then we push back.
Camel
yes of course. Let the children drown to death just to satisfy your need not letting the Mainland use this incident as a propaganda tool.
lucifer
Did you read my post? The help was not needed. We have very competent rescue and recovery services. The Mainland sent 4 recovery vessels its as if the Titanic had sunk in the harbor. This was a clear attempt by the Mainland authorities to garner some good will from Hong Kong citizens.
honger
yea, if the Chinese did not offer help, u would also attack them and ask where they were. u yourself and others were the ones who "had no problems using the tragedy for their own purposes. " by politicising every move of everything Chinese.
in a life and death situation, it is instinctive - unless u are not human - to help. heard of the good samaritan? in that case, even strangers held out a helping hand.
Your warped thinking is unfathomable - i dread to think what would happen if you guys are in charged. Expats and the able locals will start exit again like pre 97. Imagine, u would decline help in a minor/major disaster just because you hate that neighbour/relative.
spunkyjj
A truly good Samaritan doesn't usually compete for centre stage.
likingming
A truly good Samaritan doesn't care for centre stage but he will surely compete for centre stage if necessary ! (translated from chinese proverb 當仁不讓)
spunkyjj
How is it necessary for this "good Samaritan" to take centre stage? HKSAR's own emergency relief agencies were already on the scene and doing an excellent job. Where comes the need for our Chief Executive to step aside and let Li Gang take centre stage?
honger
So, at 9 pm on that fateful day, u, spunkyji, would know and understand the full extent of the damage done.
You re talking like God.
The more help the better, it doesn't matter if it was your perceived enemies (China) offering it. CY and Li Gang was obviously shaken, and appeared simultaneously at the hospital to try to assure the public that everything that could be done to help is being done, including calling in the Chinese vessels to help haul the sunken vessel.
Now, u people are trying to give your own spin to the meaning of "Samaritan." Go ahead and give new interpretations on the Bible, many have preceded u...

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