PUBLIC EYE MICHAEL CHUGANI
Public Eye
by

Pass that self-destruct button, please: why Hong Kong has fallen to such lows

We shoot ourselves over a world-class museum paid for by the Jockey Club but not direct our fire at property developers who demand more than HK$3 million for flats the size of a parking space

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 January, 2017, 6:13pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 January, 2017, 6:36pm

Want to know why Shanghai sneers at us, Singapore has overtaken us, and Shenzhen is nipping at our heels? It’s because we wake up every morning, search for a self-destruct button, and blow ourselves up.

We need that morning fix to get on with the day. Our day involves taking two steps backwards without taking one step forward. It’s called the fight for true democracy.

The latest self-destruct button we pressed was labelled procedural justice. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng yuet-ngor negotiated siting a Palace Museum in Hong Kong with original relics from Beijing without consulting the public.

Procedural justice was ignored so we must blow ourselves up. Beijing would do well to tell us to go to hell and withdraw the offer before it gets blown to bits.

Two days ago, trigger-happy legislators pressed the self-destruct button again, this time to blow up the government’s plan to throw wealthy tenants out of public housing flats. They demanded a public consultation.

Yes, we must ask the people if the government should throw out public housing tenants with a monthly household income of HK$133,450 or assets exceeding HK$2.7 million.

Our day involves taking two steps backwards without taking one step forward. It’s called the fight for true democracy

Why not ask the 300,000 people in coffin flats who wait five years for public housing if it’s morally right for tenants with millions in the bank to prolong their wait? Legislators are not demanding that. Maybe it’s not procedural or any other kind of justice for rich tenants to make way for poor ones.

Shanghai, Singapore, and Shenzhen must be cheering us on as we light the fuse for a new museum and technology park. They must be gleefully wondering why we shoot ourselves over a world-class museum paid for by the Jockey Club but not direct our fire at property developers who demand more than HK$3 million for flats the size of a parking space.

But to understand why we are intent on destroying ourselves, they need to understand us. It is violence when pro-China protesters attack radicals Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Nathan Law Kwun-chung at the airport. It is freedom of expression when a student mob attacks Hong Kong University council chairman Arthur Li Kwok-cheung. Opposition lawmakers condemned the attack on Wong and Law but stayed mute when Li was attacked.

Yes, it’s hard to understand us. Don’t even try. Just move on. Leave us behind. It’s where we want to be.

mickchug@gmail.com