Why bother? Drop the political bickering for greater good

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 April, 2016, 12:16am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 April, 2016, 12:15am

Henry Tang Ying-yen recently said some Beijing officials had criticised the Hong Kong administration’s policies for being discriminatory against mainlanders.

Tang mentioned that the crackdown on parallel traders, ban on mainland mothers giving birth here and restrictions on milk powder exports have hurt the feelings of these officials.

I am appalled by such politically laced attacks on Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who obviously had to take the tough choices at the expense of upsetting powerful business groups in implementing such measures.

It’s the chief executive’s job to ensure that resources and facilities such as hospitals and housing here are enough to cater for locals’ needs first, just as any government would. Similarly, Shanghai has a hukou system.

Perhaps Henry Tang could be more helpful by assisting his mainland compatriots (whom he described as like brothers) by developing better hospitals for their mothers giving birth there.

Tang should also help our mainland cousins develop and promote their retail and luxury shopping, and promote free trade zones there with competitive prices – matching Hong Kong’s.

Had Leung not implemented such measures, locals would be even more upset with the government; and would accuse Leung of being a Beijing puppet and not putting Hong Kong first.

Some politicians have also accused Leung of intervention and distorting the market; such as by imposing a buyer’s stamp duty on foreigners buying property and restricting tourist numbers.

Let us be clear that it’s mainly the property developers, landlords and luxury retailers that benefit.

Leung’s toughest job is perhaps to balance the very diametric interest of the local middle class majority against the few tycoons, developers and big business groups.

It is fair to say that Hong Kong has been tycoon dominated ; hence the wealth has mainly flowed to the very few members of the elite causing discontent among the grassroots.

We sometimes hear Leung’s political adversaries and even pro-establishment politicians and civil servants attacking and contradicting the chief executive on parochial issues; such as the financial secretary suggesting adjusting property cooling measures, or a senior National People’s Congress delegate saying that Beijing may consider another candidate as the next chief executive.

What’s the point of all this unconstructive political bickering? We should be put it aside to focus on economic and livelihood issues instead.

Bernard E. S. Lee, Tsuen Wan