Now’s the time for the pan-democrats to be more strategic and pragmatic, and to engage better with the mainland. Progress may be stalled for now, but history shows a breakthrough is possible.
After some early successes, the Hong Kong government is struggling to balance public health, the economic impact and social acceptance in its pandemic response.
Right or wrong, the pan-democrats’ decision to resign en masse will leave Legco without an opposition and the system without functioning checks and balances. Even if they don’t intend to give up legislative politics altogether, a return will be challenging.
Hong Kong must secure both Beijing’s trust and international confidence, while China’s leaders need to figure out Hong Kong’s value to the nation.
Mutual distrust between Beijing and the SAR’s democracy campaigners has made meaningful engagement impossible and blocked progress. With Beijing tightening its control and Hong Kong embroiled in the broader US-China stand-off, Hong Kong is close to a state of despair.
Tensions have long simmered on Hong Kong’s journey of integration with the mainland: the long-running protests triggered by the extradition bill were the last straw. Carrie Lam and her opponents share blame for jeopardising the future of the city and its young people.
Hongkongers’ aspirations for electing their own leader, a strong opposition in local politics, and a more inclusive understanding of patriotism must be accommodated in the Chinese dream.
Post-Sars standard operating procedures clearly work and the Hong Kong government has performed reasonably well in dealing with Covid-19, except in communicating a clear crisis narrative so people know what is being done and what to do.
Government credibility is at an all-time low while hostility towards the mainland has surged, narrowing the choices for remedial action. Hong Kong is caught between the dictates of ‘one country’ and the freedoms of ‘two systems’.
The government's new railway development strategy provides a blueprint for planning the expansion of Hong Kong's network up to 2031. It is based on a consultancy review of the 2000 development strategy, taking into account views collected in two rounds of public engagement in 2012 and last year.
The Legislative Council will resume the second reading of the Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill on Wednesday. The bill, if passed, will end the extended period of uncertainty in the market over the demand management measures introduced by the government in October 2012 - namely, an enhanced special stamp duty to curb short-term speculation and a new buyer's stamp duty to raise transaction costs for everyone except Hong Kong permanent residents.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of public housing in Hong Kong. It all started with a huge squatter fire in Shek Kip Mei on December 25, 1953. Then, in 1972, the colonial governor, Murray MacLehose, launched an ambitious 10-year public housing programme to house 1.8 million people in permanent self-contained homes. The rest is history.