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Kwai Tsing dock workers strike

On March 28, 2013, dock workers at Kwai Tsing took industrial action seeking a 17 per cent pay rise. The port is operated by Hongkong International Terminals (HIT).

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POLITICS

Hong Kong political veteran Elsie Tu criticises tycoons with no conscience

Political veteran Elsie Tu says things are getting worse in Hong Kong as the wealth gap widens

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 April, 2013, 12:48pm
 

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Political veteran Elsie Tu laments the widening income disparity in Hong Kong and has taken a shot at tycoons who have no conscience.

The former lawmaker and urban councillor, who turns 100 on June 2, became emotional when expressing sympathy for striking dock workers and anger with a billionaire, whom she declined to name.

"I think shame on you. Why should you have [billions of dollars] when the poor can't even buy meat for their children's food?" she said. "How could you have [billions of dollars] and still want more? The dockers are getting so little and their conditions are disgraceful."

Hundreds of dockers have been fighting for more than three weeks for a pay rise and better working conditions from port operator Hongkong International Terminals, a unit of Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa.

Tu, born in Newcastle, England, settled in Hong Kong in 1951 after three years of missionary work on the mainland. She is perceived by some as pro-Beijing and became known for her antipathy towards colonialism and corruption as well as her fight for the underdog and work in education.

Years on, she sighs about the widening income gap.

"I have a horrible feeling it's going down again. I think things are getting worse now. It makes me so angry," she said, urging both the government and the well-off to do more to narrow the wealth gap.

"We have some rich men who have a conscience. We have some rich men who seem to have no conscience. The elderly people in Hong Kong are not getting what they need. Some elderly people can manage, but there are others who are getting HK$1,000-something a month, now it's going be HK$2,000. That's better, but even that - where do you have the money to pay the rent?" asked Tu.

Her passion to serve the community, Tu said, was seeded by her father, John Hume, and deepened through years of service to society.

"He was the one who said to me, 'You must respect people everywhere'."

Tu served as an urban councillor from 1963 to 1995, as a lawmaker from 1988 to 1995 and a member of the Provisional Legco from 1997 to 1998.

She said the gratitude of the public was her motivation in the face of difficulties and pressure from the colonial government to silence her.

With her 100th birthday looming, Tu said: "I usually have the same wish - and that is we can have a world at peace instead of all wanting to fight. I have seen a first world war, second world war. I don't want to see another."

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This article is now closed to comments

johnyuan

Hong Kong is an extreme practical town: insensible to the intangible. Let us change it. Let us all make Mrs. Tu’s birthday be celebrated as a ‘Conscience Day’ – hope the government would join in as well.
the sun also rises
wishing that Ms Elise Tu could live over 100 as she probably will be ! Long live our fighter for justice and human rights plus social harmony in the past decades !
eammon
Wow, she's my new idol. Move over Li Ka Shing and learn a little about life will you? You can always try to pursue your dreams to become the Forbes richest man in the world. But quite frankly, you'll never reach that goal in this life. Why? Because the hidden wealth from real tycoons like the Bilderbergs will always stay hidden. So how about a better conscience and a bigger perspective on helping the public who really needs it rather than making everyone in your life time miserable? You can't stay rich 'forever' and that's the bottom line.
blue
"this so-called 'daily' is a geniune political wannabe himself/herself or both who just wants a piece of limelight here in the Morning Post (not yet Red China Morning Post !)"
Says the guy who keeps changing his username. You really have no shame.

I don't even agree with daily as far as his opinion about Anson Chan is concerned. But I certainly do agree that the majority of democrats fall into that category.
the sun also rises
'bluechinagroup' is actually'redchinagroup' which is sent/stationed here like the PLAs who threaten our financial centre---the Central with machine-guns pointing at its front during the recent so-called military drills.Right ? These nasty guys are the fatal virus among we Hongkongers indeedl.Shame on their words and acts committed here in this Comment column which is a venue for us to enjoy our freedom of expression in our beloved Hong Kong ! Shame on this so-called bluechinagroup who attacks our beloved frequent contributor;pflim040 as having no shame---actually this nasty guy himself is both shameless and shameful to the extreme ! Right ? ha ! ha !
the sun also rises
I would like to remind all democracy-lovers in town , once you receive a message(s) from a nasty guy who send you e-mails with the title of so-called: 'mail delivery system' or ' mail delivery subsystem 'which are both non-existent in this democratic Hong Kong but in that nasty son-of-b...'s mind only.Please ignore them or report to your website supplier for technical support or even exert proper punishment to that good-for-nothing who is awaiting to meet Chairman Mao in the underworld ! Please beware of this crook-****-hacker who is shameless and shameful to the extreme to pretend to be others or any organisations (especially the 'Nevigator 'which the righteous Comment frequent contributor: pflim040 used to patronize ).Okay ?
the sun also rises
Mrs.Elsie Tu is right to point out that some tycoons among us (such as the Superman and his elder son and this Canning Fok Kin-ling and some others) are really guys without conscience at least no social responsibility at all.In their filthy minds, there are only MONEY and nothing more.They think that money can buy them mansions in Hong Kong and elsewhere, good fames, yachts, private planes,luxurious sedans and beauties to satisfy their lust plus bodyguards and assistants but not conscience nor a really good name ! Right ?
jj
Tu asked, "How could you have [billions of dollars] and still want more? The dockers are getting so little and their conditions are disgraceful." This question points to our human failings as members of society, as reflected in an English saying - "What do you give to people who have all the money?" The answer is ... More money !
jayb
Ms Tu. with all due respect, value of labor is NOT measured by time spent or effort made but value created. David Beckham plays less than 30 minute soccer per week. last time i checked, he earns US$60 million per year, at his "old" age of 37, he is the highest paid soccer player in the world. problem is NOT "income gap" but value gap. Beckham has value because millions pay $$$ to see Beckham but nobody go to see the guys running around at Monkok Stadium even if it's free.
the sun also rises
The tycoons who have no conscience in town must include the Li family's Li Ka-shing (who claimed that being a gentleman,one should grab his wealth in a decent way and he always says that he loves Hong Kong and won't hurt the interests of Hong Kong.But this time in the dockers' strike what he has/hasn't done demonstrates that he is just another hypocrite who cares about money (which he can never bring with him to another world but just left to his playboy-typed eldest son,Victor who is well-known for his patronizing beauties in town and elsewhere) more than anything else---excluding a good fame: donating money from time to time.But never takes care of his employees/ outsourcing workers' interests.

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