Abusing both democracy and the elderly poor
Hong Kong is ready for democracy, you say? Go tell that to the 400,000 impoverished senior citizens who struggle daily to survive. Democracy has derailed immediate government relief for them, while grandstanding politicians use them as pawns. You could argue the deadlock we are now seeing between the government and some legislators over the terms of a monthly HK$2,200 handout is democracy in action. But you would be wrong. It is an abuse of democracy. If our political leaders really understood democracy, they would have no trouble finding a compromise that puts the interests of the elderly poor above their own. How hard is it for dissenting legislators to de-link the larger issue of a universal pension from the HK$2,200 handout so the elderly poor can get immediate relief? How hard is it for officials to guarantee genuine consideration for a pension plan in return for the HK$2,200 handout going only to those in genuine need and not to all senior citizens, as some legislators insist? If we cannot even compromise on something as simple as this, how can we possibly be ready for democracy, which can only function effectively through compromise?
Government is failing in fight against racism
Now Public Eye understands why the government exempted itself from Hong Kong’s already toothless anti-racist laws. Exemption allows it to freely practise racism. It is doing just that in deciding who can and cannot become naturalised as Hong Kong Chinese nationals. Tell us it’s not racism when a local-born Pakistani girl, legally adopted by Hong Kong Chinese parents as a baby, holding a permanent Hong Kong identity card and a mainland home return permit, is denied Chinese nationality while Westerners with fewer local links are granted that status. Businessman Allan Zeman, former government official Mike Rowse and politician Paul Zimmerman have all been naturalised. The government even sped up Zimmerman’s application for his possible run in September’s Legco election. Yet we see case after case of ethnic minorities with close links to Hong Kong being rejected. What makes the case of the adopted Maggie Cheung more outrageous is that even mainland China recognised her Chinese nationality by giving her a home return permit. She is finally on her way to naturalisation only after media inquiries. When the equal opportunities commissioner, Lam Woon-kwong, became the Executive Council convenor, he promised that his crusade against racism would take priority over his role as Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s top adviser. We are still waiting for him to unsheathe his sword. Lam has said the government was wrong to exempt itself from the anti-racism law. He has implicitly admitted the law gives him little power to fight racism. But that does not mean he cannot shout out loud that our government is racist. As Exco convenor he has the ear of Leung. So why doesn’t he say something? When Leung was elected, he said he would be the chief executive of all Hongkongers. Tell that to Maggie Cheung. See if she will believe it.
Why is no one worrying about the seasons?
What’s happened to our seasons? It’s late November but autumn is still struggling to arrive. Are we doomed to have year-round long, hot summers? Public Eye grew up in Hong Kong but it was never like this back then. Late November was comfortably cold, definitely not T-shirt weather. Climate change has already got a foot inside the door of planet Earth but our world leaders aren’t giving a damn. Israelis and Palestinians are busy killing each other, China and Japan are sabre-rattling over a tiny bunch of uninhabited islands and American politicians are more concerned about the sex life of the country’s spy chief. Doesn’t anyone realise nothing else poses a bigger threat to humankind than climate change? Please Scotty, beam Public Eye out of here.