Mike Rowse

Mike Rowse

Mike Rowse has lived in Hong Kong since 1972, and is a naturalised Chinese citizen. He spent six years in the ICAC from 1974 to 1980, then 28 years in the government as an administrative officer until retirement in December 2008. He is now the search director for Stanton Chase International, and also hosts a radio talk show and writes regularly for both English and Chinese media.

Latest from Mike Rowse

Opinion | Elections in the aftermath of coronavirus: how Hong Kong’s blue and yellow camps should alter their strategies

Both pan-democrat and pro-establishment parties cannot afford to ignore the crippling impact of the coronavirus pandemic, protests and trade war on the economy and how this will influence voter behaviour in the Legco election.

22 Mar 2020 - 8:14PM

Both pan-democrat and pro-establishment parties cannot afford to ignore the crippling impact of the coronavirus pandemic, protests and trade war on the economy and how this will influence voter behaviour in the Legco election.

Elections in the aftermath of coronavirus: how Hong Kong’s blue and yellow camps should alter their strategies
Opinion | Hong Kong doesn’t just need more housing, it must also find more ways to turn renters into owners

The government’s backing for Lantau Tomorrow, reaffirmed in the budget speech, is a pragmatic solution to increasing the housing supply. At the same time, the government must boost the home ownership rate to give more people a stake in society.

9 Mar 2020 - 9:00AM

The government’s backing for Lantau Tomorrow, reaffirmed in the budget speech, is a pragmatic solution to increasing the housing supply. At the same time, the government must boost the home ownership rate to give more people a stake in society.

Hong Kong doesn’t just need more housing, it must also find more ways to turn renters into owners
Opinion | Paul Chan’s budget should ease the pain of the coronavirus crisis in Hong Kong, but not much more

Under great pressure to be generous with our ample reserves, the financial secretary must keep in mind that Hong Kong faces two other major challenges apart from a virus outbreak. Our political crisis, for one, cannot be solved by throwing money at the problem.

23 Feb 2020 - 8:33PM

Under great pressure to be generous with our ample reserves, the financial secretary must keep in mind that Hong Kong faces two other major challenges apart from a virus outbreak. Our political crisis, for one, cannot be solved by throwing money at the problem.

Paul Chan’s budget should ease the pain of the coronavirus crisis in Hong Kong, but not much more
Opinion | Coronavirus outbreak: Why I refuse to queue up for masks and participate in the general panic

The outbreak calls for a calm and considered response, keeping in mind its severity compared to other diseases and the utility of products such as masks.

9 Feb 2020 - 7:34PM

The outbreak calls for a calm and considered response, keeping in mind its severity compared to other diseases and the utility of products such as masks.

Coronavirus outbreak: Why I refuse to queue up for masks and participate in the general panic
Opinion | Ocean Park’s glory days are behind it – use the site for housing, and invest in Hong Kong Disneyland instead

Between dwindling attendances and fierce regional competition, Ocean Park’s glory days are behind it. Better to use the 91.5-hectare site to meet a pressing need in the city – housing.

26 Jan 2020 - 8:28PM

Between dwindling attendances and fierce regional competition, Ocean Park’s glory days are behind it. Better to use the 91.5-hectare site to meet a pressing need in the city – housing.

Ocean Park’s glory days are behind it – use the site for housing, and invest in Hong Kong Disneyland instead
Opinion | Five ways Beijing’s new man in Hong Kong can help the city return to peace and prosperity

The new director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong must take official briefings with a pinch of salt, not overestimate foreign influence in the protests and trust that most Hongkongers love their country.

12 Jan 2020 - 6:35PM

The new director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong must take official briefings with a pinch of salt, not overestimate foreign influence in the protests and trust that most Hongkongers love their country.

Five ways Beijing’s new man in Hong Kong can help the city return to peace and prosperity
Opinion | What Xi Jinping, Carrie Lam and Hong Kong protesters can do to give Hongkongers a happy 2020

The unrest in Hong Kong has always been a political problem needing a political solution. As the new year approaches, politicians and protesters must reflect, while opposition and police leaders must start leading

29 Dec 2019 - 10:31PM

The unrest in Hong Kong has always been a political problem needing a political solution. As the new year approaches, politicians and protesters must reflect, while opposition and police leaders must start leading

What Xi Jinping, Carrie Lam and Hong Kong protesters can do to give Hongkongers a happy 2020
Opinion | Carrie Lam’s successor must be able to win over Beijing and the Hong Kong public. Two candidates come to mind

Lam’s successor must have credibility with Beijing but also a finger on the pulse of popular sentiment in Hong Kong. Only former Legco presidents Jasper Tsang and Rita Fan have the broad appeal needed to solve pressing problems Lam will leave incomplete.

16 Dec 2019 - 9:15AM

Lam’s successor must have credibility with Beijing but also a finger on the pulse of popular sentiment in Hong Kong. Only former Legco presidents Jasper Tsang and Rita Fan have the broad appeal needed to solve pressing problems Lam will leave incomplete.

Carrie Lam’s successor must be able to win over Beijing and the Hong Kong public. Two candidates come to mind
Opinion | Sensible political reforms the Hong Kong government can offer for the 2020 Legco election and beyond

The government has no excuse to delay the political reforms Hongkongers are clearly demanding. Sensible first steps include breaking up bigger constituencies and abolishing corporate voting in the Legco election, and making the chief executive nominating committee more representative.

1 Dec 2019 - 7:12PM

The government has no excuse to delay the political reforms Hongkongers are clearly demanding. Sensible first steps include breaking up bigger constituencies and abolishing corporate voting in the Legco election, and making the chief executive nominating committee more representative.

Sensible political reforms the Hong Kong government can offer for the 2020 Legco election and beyond
Opinion | Hong Kong in crisis: protest violence is wrong but government inaction is worse

Dangerous behaviour by protesters is unacceptable, as is the abuse of power by police officers. But most unacceptable of all would be for government officials to continue to wring their hands and do nothing.

17 Nov 2019 - 10:43PM

Dangerous behaviour by protesters is unacceptable, as is the abuse of power by police officers. But most unacceptable of all would be for government officials to continue to wring their hands and do nothing.

Hong Kong in crisis: protest violence is wrong but government inaction is worse
Opinion | Beijing should clarify what happens to Hong Kong after 2047, to ease the fear and uncertainty

A simple statement that Hong Kong’s way of life can continue indefinitely after 2047 until otherwise agreed would sets minds at ease in Hong Kong and aid Beijing’s case for reunification with Taiwan.

4 Nov 2019 - 6:56AM

A simple statement that Hong Kong’s way of life can continue indefinitely after 2047 until otherwise agreed would sets minds at ease in Hong Kong and aid Beijing’s case for reunification with Taiwan.

Beijing should clarify what happens to Hong Kong after 2047, to ease the fear and uncertainty
Opinion | Hong Kong’s protests have reshaped the city, and the November district council elections will show how much

Tolerance of violence and distrust of police are not normal for Hong Kong, yet that’s the city’s present situation. Barring sudden change – or cancellation – this suggests the next elections will see a stark shift towards the pan-dems.

20 Oct 2019 - 6:50PM

Tolerance of violence and distrust of police are not normal for Hong Kong, yet that’s the city’s present situation. Barring sudden change – or cancellation – this suggests the next elections will see a stark shift towards the pan-dems.

Hong Kong’s protests have reshaped the city, and the November district council elections will show how much
Opinion | Hong Kong’s government needs short- and long-term solutions to the protest crisis – what it can’t do is wait indefinitely

Unresponsiveness from the government – supposedly accountable to both Hongkongers and Beijing – has been a major factor in this crisis. Officials must quickly announce action to show they are listening, even if the measures don’t take effect right away.

6 Oct 2019 - 6:40PM

Unresponsiveness from the government – supposedly accountable to both Hongkongers and Beijing – has been a major factor in this crisis. Officials must quickly announce action to show they are listening, even if the measures don’t take effect right away.

Hong Kong’s government needs short- and long-term solutions to the protest crisis – what it can’t do is wait indefinitely
Opinion | Maybe Britain or the US will come to Hong Kong’s rescue. And pigs might fly

Britain will not reverse policy and start recognising Hong Kong BN(O) passport holders as citizens. The US will not throw open its doors to immigrants from Hong Kong. No one is coming to our rescue. The only capital city worth visiting in a pickle is Beijing.

23 Sep 2019 - 4:49PM

Britain will not reverse policy and start recognising Hong Kong BN(O) passport holders as citizens. The US will not throw open its doors to immigrants from Hong Kong. No one is coming to our rescue. The only capital city worth visiting in a pickle is Beijing.

Maybe Britain or the US will come to Hong Kong’s rescue. And pigs might fly
Opinion | For both Hong Kong protesters and the government, it is time to go back to school

As term starts and protests begin to thin out, the government should use the chance to relearn leadership and accountability, and start tackling the issues of housing and suffrage.

8 Sep 2019 - 8:33PM

As term starts and protests begin to thin out, the government should use the chance to relearn leadership and accountability, and start tackling the issues of housing and suffrage.

For both Hong Kong protesters and the government, it is time to go back to school
Opinion | Carrie Lam must address legitimate demands to end the Hong Kong protests in time for Chinese National Day

With the 70th birthday of the People’s Republic just weeks away, it is imperative that the Hong Kong government urgently address the legitimate grievances of protesters. It should withdraw the extradition bill, order an independent inquiry and introduce electoral reform.

25 Aug 2019 - 7:26PM

With the 70th birthday of the People’s Republic just weeks away, it is imperative that the Hong Kong government urgently address the legitimate grievances of protesters. It should withdraw the extradition bill, order an independent inquiry and introduce electoral reform.

Carrie Lam must address legitimate demands to end the Hong Kong protests in time for Chinese National Day
Opinion | Hong Kong’s concept of ministerial accountability is as dead as the extradition bill. Perhaps it should be withdrawn

The introduction of the accountability system in 2002 saw three ministers resign under public pressure in the first 18 months. But, since then, the idea of ministers quitting for their political failures seems to have been forgotten.

11 Aug 2019 - 9:08PM

The introduction of the accountability system in 2002 saw three ministers resign under public pressure in the first 18 months. But, since then, the idea of ministers quitting for their political failures seems to have been forgotten.

Hong Kong’s concept of ministerial accountability is as dead as the extradition bill. Perhaps it should be withdrawn
Opinion | Protests won’t end by themselves. Hong Kong’s pan-democrats can and must step up

Protests have already served their purpose, but have since gone too far and gone on for too long. Protesters don’t trust Beijing or the Hong Kong government. Only opposition politicians may have the credibility to convince them to stop

28 Jul 2019 - 7:46PM

Protests have already served their purpose, but have since gone too far and gone on for too long. Protesters don’t trust Beijing or the Hong Kong government. Only opposition politicians may have the credibility to convince them to stop

Protests won’t end by themselves. Hong Kong’s pan-democrats can and must step up
Opinion | Hong Kong desperately needs political reform to make Legco and the chief executive accountable

Far from ripping Hong Kong apart and deepening divisions, political reform will allow a more representative government to better deal with controversial legislation, whether on extradition or national security.

15 Jul 2019 - 9:11AM

Far from ripping Hong Kong apart and deepening divisions, political reform will allow a more representative government to better deal with controversial legislation, whether on extradition or national security.

Hong Kong desperately needs political reform to make Legco and the chief executive accountable
Opinion | Now more than ever, Hong Kong holds the key to China’s unification with Taiwan

Taiwanese regard the massive protests against the extradition bill as yet another sign ‘one country, two systems’ is failing. Hong Kong must show that democratic development is possible if Beijing wants Taiwan back in its fold.

1 Jul 2019 - 9:36AM

Taiwanese regard the massive protests against the extradition bill as yet another sign ‘one country, two systems’ is failing. Hong Kong must show that democratic development is possible if Beijing wants Taiwan back in its fold.

Now more than ever, Hong Kong holds the key to China’s unification with Taiwan
Opinion | Why I marched against the extradition bill alongside a million Hong Kong people

For my daughter, who asked me to. For a speedy resolution to the Taiwan murder case. And for an unrushed, comprehensive review of Hong Kong’s extradition arrangements.

16 Jun 2019 - 9:58PM

For my daughter, who asked me to. For a speedy resolution to the Taiwan murder case. And for an unrushed, comprehensive review of Hong Kong’s extradition arrangements.

Why I marched against the extradition bill alongside a million Hong Kong people
Opinion | How does the world view Hong Kong’s political turmoil, from Occupy to the oath-taking saga and the German asylum case? Probably very differently from us

Over the past four years, events like the tear-gassing of Occupy protesters, the disqualification of lawmakers over their oaths, and the asylum-seeking of wanted activists have attracted widespread attention. The world is watching and the city’s reputation is at stake.

3 Jun 2019 - 7:00AM

Over the past four years, events like the tear-gassing of Occupy protesters, the disqualification of lawmakers over their oaths, and the asylum-seeking of wanted activists have attracted widespread attention. The world is watching and the city’s reputation is at stake.

How does the world view Hong Kong’s political turmoil, from Occupy to the oath-taking saga and the German asylum case? Probably very differently from us
Opinion | Lessons from my high-speed train trip to Beijing: Hong Kong is in danger of falling behind

Hong Kong needs to examine its resistance to change and truly open up the doors to competition, whether in ride-hailing or to foreign doctors. Meanwhile, more pan-democrats need to receive their home-return permits to see the mainland’s progress for themselves

20 May 2019 - 10:00AM

Hong Kong needs to examine its resistance to change and truly open up the doors to competition, whether in ride-hailing or to foreign doctors. Meanwhile, more pan-democrats need to receive their home-return permits to see the mainland’s progress for themselves

Lessons from my high-speed train trip to Beijing: Hong Kong is in danger of falling behind
Opinion | No Brexit or a no-deal Brexit: the stark choice for Britain as Theresa May fails to find a magic formula

As the prime minister seeks to achieve the impossible, the chances of the UK leaving the EU with an agreeable deal look increasingly unrealistic, with the October 31 deadline unlikely to be met.

5 May 2019 - 9:00PM

As the prime minister seeks to achieve the impossible, the chances of the UK leaving the EU with an agreeable deal look increasingly unrealistic, with the October 31 deadline unlikely to be met.

No Brexit or a no-deal Brexit: the stark choice for Britain as Theresa May fails to find a magic formula
Opinion | Hong Kong’s extradition law controversy could have been avoided if officials spoke truth to power

While Chief Executive Carrie Lam seems determined to push through the change to Hong Kong’s laws on the transfer of fugitives, did her subordinates raise the concerns that would inevitably arise from various sectors?

22 Apr 2019 - 6:00AM

While Chief Executive Carrie Lam seems determined to push through the change to Hong Kong’s laws on the transfer of fugitives, did her subordinates raise the concerns that would inevitably arise from various sectors?

Hong Kong’s extradition law controversy could have been avoided if officials spoke truth to power
Opinion | Hong Kong’s elderly will have to make their peace with working till they drop

By raising the age cut-off for welfare payments to the elderly, the government was trying to address the reality of our ageing society. However, a more comprehensive approach that recognises the skills the elderly have to offer would be preferable.

7 Apr 2019 - 5:50PM

By raising the age cut-off for welfare payments to the elderly, the government was trying to address the reality of our ageing society. However, a more comprehensive approach that recognises the skills the elderly have to offer would be preferable.

Hong Kong’s elderly will have to make their peace with working till they drop
Opinion | Hong Kong MTR’s troubles are rooted in its identity crisis

Is it a private company first or a public service provider? A rail operator or property developer? The train crash last week, the latest in a string of scandals, indicates massive governance failure and brings home the need for a complete overhaul.

25 Mar 2019 - 7:31AM

Is it a private company first or a public service provider? A rail operator or property developer? The train crash last week, the latest in a string of scandals, indicates massive governance failure and brings home the need for a complete overhaul.

Hong Kong MTR’s troubles are rooted in its identity crisis
Opinion | The fix for Hong Kong’s dirty public toilets starts and ends with how they are managed

The HK$600 million set aside to spruce up the toilets under the government’s care will go to waste if the crux of the problem – the outsourcing of the work through a tender exercise that stresses cost over quality – isn’t addressed.

10 Mar 2019 - 6:31PM

The HK$600 million set aside to spruce up the toilets under the government’s care will go to waste if the crux of the problem – the outsourcing of the work through a tender exercise that stresses cost over quality – isn’t addressed.

The fix for Hong Kong’s dirty public toilets starts and ends with how they are managed
Opinion | Now as before, Hong Kong doctors’ argument for shutting out foreign competition does not stand up to scrutiny

Patient welfare should rank higher in doctors’ priorities than their own status. Their years of opposition to sensible changes to the entry requirements for foreign-trained doctors, so as to ease a manpower shortage, must end.

24 Feb 2019 - 6:58PM

Patient welfare should rank higher in doctors’ priorities than their own status. Their years of opposition to sensible changes to the entry requirements for foreign-trained doctors, so as to ease a manpower shortage, must end.

Now as before, Hong Kong doctors’ argument for shutting out foreign competition does not stand up to scrutiny
Opinion | Wildlife trafficking through Hong Kong must be treated as an organised crime to be handled by the police

The recent seizure of ivory and pangolin scales by customs officials and the failure to prosecute those involved in the record ivory haul in 2017 show that Hong Kong must do more to ensure wildlife trafficking is treated as a serious crime.

11 Feb 2019 - 10:08AM

The recent seizure of ivory and pangolin scales by customs officials and the failure to prosecute those involved in the record ivory haul in 2017 show that Hong Kong must do more to ensure wildlife trafficking is treated as a serious crime.

Wildlife trafficking through Hong Kong must be treated as an organised crime to be handled by the police