• Fri
  • Nov 28, 2014
  • Updated: 4:08am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 December, 2013, 4:43am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 December, 2013, 4:43am

Time to quietly shelve the ultimatum over the Manila hostage crisis

The one-month ultimatum is up. So what's the government of Leung Chun-ying going to do about the Philippines? Will he impose economic sanctions, such as ending visa-free privileges for Philippine visitors, or even bar their nationals from working in our city? Asked about it yesterday, the chief executive would only say that both sides were still negotiating. I take it that means the ultimatum has been quietly shelved. And well it should be.

The fact that their officials were willing to talk when their country has been hit by one of the worst typhoons on record, which killed at least 5,680 people, rather demonstrated their sincerity. And it rather put us in a terrible light.

That families of the victims in the Manila hostage crisis would make such demands are entirely understandable. Some pan-democratic lawmakers and politicians have been more than willing to fan our community resentment and bias against the country and its people. It's shameful but predictable. But it has been terribly unwise to allow their demands to ensnare our entire community in their dispute, however much sympathy we feel for the families and the victims. By jumping on the "hate Philippines" bandwagon, Leung has shown a complete and woeful lack of leadership. People complain he doesn't listen to public opinion. I am afraid that in this case, he listened too much.

When the scale of the typhoon destruction and suffering became obvious for the world to see, our government should have openly dropped the ultimatum and expressed solidarity with some 180,000 Philippine nationals living and working among us.

The only saving grace in this sorry episode has been the government's rush to inject HK$40 million into the disaster relief fund through the Legislative Council, enabling emergency relief organisations and other NGOs to apply for fund to carry out operations in the Philippines. Let the record show that non-affiliated pan-democrat Wong Yuk-man voted against the fund injection. That was a mean-spirited vote if ever there was one.

With the relief funding, we did rather better than Beijing, which initially offered just US$100,000 in emergency aid, raised to US$1.6 million only after an outbreak of international mockery.

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chanaa
mean spirited is too kind of a word for Wong yuk Man. A c**t is more like it.
but what goes around, comes around - he will get it back
wailunscmp
Well said Alex, very well said. There are still many rationale, big hearted and intellligent people in Hong Kong
The same can't be said of Hong Kong's political leaders. You nail it on the head when you mention the "lack of leadership" and "mean spirited"
maddmh
Well said Alex. This silly policy just shows the immaturity of our Govt and moreover, the politics of gaining the popular vote. How did we manage to allow such morons to run our incredible city?
caractacus
Fat hope, Alex, it's too much of a political gravy train for certain unscrupulous politicians.
drascmp
Excellent point of view..
caractacus
We were never given a choice and never will be.
 
 
 
 
 

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