Describing himself as a 'very ordinary person', Wen Jiabao demonstrated an extraordinary ability to connect with the people on the second day of his trip. In what has already been dubbed 'Wen's whirlwind visit', the premier paid surprise visits to Amoy Gardens and Sha Tin New Town Plaza on the sidelines of a packed programme that included a tour to a container terminal, the stock exchange and a morale-boosting gathering for workers who have been fighting Sars. Television footage of Mr Wen inside a flat at Block E of Amoy Gardens, holding a new-born baby whose mother had died of the disease, has boosted his image as 'the premier of ordinary people'. Outside the building and inside the shopping arcade, he was greeted and cheered by residents and passers-by. Most of them spoke positively about him. Those images are in stark contrast with a visit by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa to Amoy Gardens on Monday last week, when he announced the decision by the World Health Organisation to remove Hong Kong from the list of Sars-affected areas. Critics said Mr Tung had come too late and had done too little to heal the wounds of Sars-stricken families. Until then, he had not paid home visits to Sars victims at Amoy Gardens. On the surface, the Sars crisis is over. The timing of the signing of the free-trade agreement between Hong Kong and the mainland on Sunday served to symbolise new economic vigour in the post-Sars era. In many aspects, life has returned to normal. However, deep wounds in the hearts of the people inflicted by the government's handling, or rather mishandling, of the Sars crisis are far from being healed. Amid growing public discontent over Mr Tung's leadership, the imminent passage of Article 23 legislation on subversion-related crimes without a thorough public debate has affected people's feelings about the government. Ironically, the success of Mr Wen in reaching out to the people will probably provoke more soul-searching among people on the sixth anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China. After the premier's genuine and sincere concern for their suffering, many people will be asking where their local leaders are and what they are doing. This afternoon, tens of thousands of people will converge at Victoria Park, hoping their voices will be heard.