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.
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 | 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?

27 minutes ago

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 - 2:53PM

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
Opinion | Hong Kong’s biggest traffic problem is too many private cars. So why can’t we do like Singapore and limit their numbers?

The new Central-Wan Chai Bypass won’t solve Hong Kong’s long-term traffic problems. We need a revamp of transport policies with a focus on stricter licensing for private cars, electronic road pricing and legalising ride-hailing services.

28 Jan 2019 - 7:04AM

The new Central-Wan Chai Bypass won’t solve Hong Kong’s long-term traffic problems. We need a revamp of transport policies with a focus on stricter licensing for private cars, electronic road pricing and legalising ride-hailing services.

Hong Kong’s biggest traffic problem is too many private cars. So why can’t we do like Singapore and limit their numbers?
Opinion | Hongkongers, stand up for a sensible debate on the national anthem law

Expecting respect for a national anthem is not unprecedented in Asia. But, while some criticism in Hong Kong about the national anthem bill is hysterical, concern over the two-year prosecution window should be addressed.

14 Jan 2019 - 7:24AM

Expecting respect for a national anthem is not unprecedented in Asia. But, while some criticism in Hong Kong about the national anthem bill is hysterical, concern over the two-year prosecution window should be addressed.

Hongkongers, stand up for a sensible debate on the national anthem law
Opinion | One own goal, a bad year for Teresa Cheng, and misses all round: here’s how the Hong Kong government did in 2018

The administration’s mishandling of the National Party affair, which led to the denial of visa for a journalist, was notable among its misses.

31 Dec 2018 - 3:21PM

The administration’s mishandling of the National Party affair, which led to the denial of visa for a journalist, was notable among its misses.

One own goal, a bad year for Teresa Cheng, and misses all round: here’s how the Hong Kong government did in 2018
Opinion | Hong Kong needs job retraining, more foreign labour and to scrap its retirement age before the silver tsunami swamps us

The elderly live longer and healthier now, but still need more support as they get older and Hong Kong can’t provide it with its current birth rate.

16 Dec 2018 - 7:06PM

The elderly live longer and healthier now, but still need more support as they get older and Hong Kong can’t provide it with its current birth rate.

Hong Kong needs job retraining, more foreign labour and to scrap its retirement age before the silver tsunami swamps us
Opinion | What Hong Kong pan-democrats must say to even get to the election starting line, and other helpful hints

Lee Cheuk-yan’s defeat in the West Kowloon by-election should press home the point that pan-democrats urgently need to change their strategy. They must completely disassociate themselves from pro-independence advocates and stick to grass-roots issues.

2 Dec 2018 - 6:01PM

Lee Cheuk-yan’s defeat in the West Kowloon by-election should press home the point that pan-democrats urgently need to change their strategy. They must completely disassociate themselves from pro-independence advocates and stick to grass-roots issues.

What Hong Kong pan-democrats must say to even get to the election starting line, and other helpful hints
Opinion | Greater Bay Area’s success as a tech hub depends on timely integration to motivate young people

We first need answers to practical issues, such as internet access, convoluted and costly travel arrangements, payment systems and phone services, as these can help pique interest in the bay area, especially among young people.

18 Nov 2018 - 7:46PM

We first need answers to practical issues, such as internet access, convoluted and costly travel arrangements, payment systems and phone services, as these can help pique interest in the bay area, especially among young people.

Greater Bay Area’s success as a tech hub depends on timely integration to motivate young people
Opinion | Why Carrie Lam’s Lantau Tomorrow Vision should be rebranded ‘Freedom Island’

Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s reclamation proposal will allow Hong Kong to build a township of the future and will also help free up land elsewhere

9 Nov 2018 - 6:21AM

Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s reclamation proposal will allow Hong Kong to build a township of the future and will also help free up land elsewhere

Why Carrie Lam’s Lantau Tomorrow Vision should be rebranded ‘Freedom Island’
Opinion | Hong Kong’s pan-democrats are better off without Lau Siu-lai and her ‘self-determination’ baggage
  • The disqualification of the controversial politician from the upcoming by-election will allow the pan-dems to shed her troublesome baggage
  • The pan-dems have a legitimate role to play in fighting for Hong Kong’s interests while acknowledging its place as part of China
22 Oct 2018 - 3:19PM
  • The disqualification of the controversial politician from the upcoming by-election will allow the pan-dems to shed her troublesome baggage
  • The pan-dems have a legitimate role to play in fighting for Hong Kong’s interests while acknowledging its place as part of China
Hong Kong’s pan-democrats are better off without Lau Siu-lai and her ‘self-determination’ baggage
Opinion | Forget sensible policies. Rich Hong Kong has money to throw at its problems

From water bills and replacing old lifts to its latest attempt to scrap the MPF offset mechanism – by offering a whopping HK$29 billion in subsidies – the government is using money to get out of the need to make tough decisions.

7 Oct 2018 - 6:43PM

From water bills and replacing old lifts to its latest attempt to scrap the MPF offset mechanism – by offering a whopping HK$29 billion in subsidies – the government is using money to get out of the need to make tough decisions.

Forget sensible policies. Rich Hong Kong has money to throw at its problems
Climate change must be dealt with before it unleashes millions of global-warming refugees

Mass migration, driven by war and politics, has already fuelled social discontent in Europe and America. But things may get much worse if climate change continues unchecked and leaves millions in at-risk countries homeless.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM

Mass migration, driven by war and politics, has already fuelled social discontent in Europe and America. But things may get much worse if climate change continues unchecked and leaves millions in at-risk countries homeless.

Climate change must be dealt with before it unleashes millions of global-warming refugees
Free-market failure: Hongkongers need the government to fix the housing crisis, now

The trend towards smaller and smaller flats, and higher and higher prices needs to be arrested now. The government must ban non-permanent residents from buying a property, and enforce a minimum flat size - ideally not less than 700 sq ft.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM

The trend towards smaller and smaller flats, and higher and higher prices needs to be arrested now. The government must ban non-permanent residents from buying a property, and enforce a minimum flat size - ideally not less than 700 sq ft.

Free-market failure: Hongkongers need the government to fix the housing crisis, now
Opinion | How Andy Chan’s call for Hong Kong independence fails the test of common sense

It is puzzling why a champion of Hong Kong freedoms should suggest asking the US to suspend the SAR’s trade privileges. And that’s just one of the illogical points of Chan’s FCC speech.

3 Oct 2018 - 1:18PM

It is puzzling why a champion of Hong Kong freedoms should suggest asking the US to suspend the SAR’s trade privileges. And that’s just one of the illogical points of Chan’s FCC speech.

How Andy Chan’s call for Hong Kong independence fails the test of common sense
Hong Kong independence talk controversy is evidence that silly season is in full swing

The escalation of events surrounding the ban on the Hong Kong national party and the objections to its convenor’s talk at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club are a convenient filler in the slow summer news cycle.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM

The escalation of events surrounding the ban on the Hong Kong national party and the objections to its convenor’s talk at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club are a convenient filler in the slow summer news cycle.

Hong Kong independence talk controversy is evidence that silly season is in full swing
Taxis in Hong Kong will speed up reform if Uber and other ride-hailing firms can compete legally

Granting ride-hailing firms premium taxi licences will improve service in the city faster than lengthy consultations on demerits for drivers.

30 Jul 2018 - 5:02AM

Granting ride-hailing firms premium taxi licences will improve service in the city faster than lengthy consultations on demerits for drivers.

Taxis in Hong Kong will speed up reform if Uber and other ride-hailing firms can compete legally
A ‘clean’ Brexit would betray the British public – even if that’s what they voted for

The complex supply chains built up since the UK joined the EU mean a ‘clean Brexit’ that Leave voters wanted would be disastrous for the economy. In the much larger market for services, however, even a ‘soft Brexit’ may present insurmountable problems.

16 Jul 2018 - 2:02AM

The complex supply chains built up since the UK joined the EU mean a ‘clean Brexit’ that Leave voters wanted would be disastrous for the economy. In the much larger market for services, however, even a ‘soft Brexit’ may present insurmountable problems.

A ‘clean’ Brexit would betray the British public – even if that’s what they voted for
Being at the Fifa 2018 World Cup, it’s already clear who the winners are

Winning at the Fifa 2018 World Cup isn’t just about scoring goals. Off the pitch, the behaviour of hosts Russia and the fans of Panama and Japan has been exemplary.

2 Jul 2018 - 6:46AM

Winning at the Fifa 2018 World Cup isn’t just about scoring goals. Off the pitch, the behaviour of hosts Russia and the fans of Panama and Japan has been exemplary.

Being at the Fifa 2018 World Cup, it’s already clear who the winners are
Opinion | Why Hong Kong needs a more independent MTR board to prevent shoddy railway works

With five major rail projects on its hands, was the MTR, which is majority-owned by the government, too beholden to political concerns to properly prioritise its heavy workload?

17 Jun 2018 - 7:37PM

With five major rail projects on its hands, was the MTR, which is majority-owned by the government, too beholden to political concerns to properly prioritise its heavy workload?

Why Hong Kong needs a more independent MTR board to prevent shoddy railway works
One year on, who in Carrie Lam’s cabinet fails to make the grade?

The chief executive’s finance, health and development secretaries have been bright spots, but the lack of vision in the transport bureau and clumsy handling of the education textbook controversies suggest room for improvement - or change

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM

The chief executive’s finance, health and development secretaries have been bright spots, but the lack of vision in the transport bureau and clumsy handling of the education textbook controversies suggest room for improvement - or change

One year on, who in Carrie Lam’s cabinet fails to make the grade?
Take politics out of the conversation on Cantonese and Mandarin, and use each language when needed

Demographic changes and Hong Kong’s role as the gateway to China mean Mandarin will increasingly make its presence felt, but Cantonese can continue to thrive alongside.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM

Demographic changes and Hong Kong’s role as the gateway to China mean Mandarin will increasingly make its presence felt, but Cantonese can continue to thrive alongside.

Take politics out of the conversation on Cantonese and Mandarin, and use each language when needed
Don’t give up on democracy for Hong Kong just yet

A recent discussion between prominent political figures from the pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camps provides some hope that Hong Kong can work towards achieving national security legislation and, ultimately, more democracy.

6 May 2018 - 6:54PM

A recent discussion between prominent political figures from the pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camps provides some hope that Hong Kong can work towards achieving national security legislation and, ultimately, more democracy.

Don’t give up on democracy for Hong Kong just yet
To solve Hong Kong’s housing crisis, there are only two viable options

There are only two real solutions to the lack of land for housing – Hong Kong must reclaim land and make use of developers’ extensive bank of agricultural plots.

20 Jul 2018 - 8:47PM

There are only two real solutions to the lack of land for housing – Hong Kong must reclaim land and make use of developers’ extensive bank of agricultural plots.

To solve Hong Kong’s housing crisis, there are only two viable options
Why should Hong Kong employers have to pay twice towards workers’ retirement?

The Mandatory Provident Fund’s foundation was possible thanks to an understanding previous governments had with businesses, including that they ‘do not need to pay twice’. Reneging on those promises would be a breach of trust

20 Jul 2018 - 8:47PM

The Mandatory Provident Fund’s foundation was possible thanks to an understanding previous governments had with businesses, including that they ‘do not need to pay twice’. Reneging on those promises would be a breach of trust

Why should Hong Kong employers have to pay twice towards workers’ retirement?
Hong Kong’s pan-democrats can win back the public, but only if they get down to basics

If it wants to be taken seriously, the pan-democratic camp needs to focus on solutions, especially for those most in need, not the democracy cause and obstructionism.

25 Mar 2018 - 5:50PM

If it wants to be taken seriously, the pan-democratic camp needs to focus on solutions, especially for those most in need, not the democracy cause and obstructionism.

Hong Kong’s pan-democrats can win back the public, but only if they get down to basics
Why having too much money can be a problem – just ask Hong Kong’s financial chief

Budget surpluses make it difficult to curb harmful habits, like the overuse of water and electricity, through taxes when the government already has too much money.

11 Mar 2018 - 5:31PM

Budget surpluses make it difficult to curb harmful habits, like the overuse of water and electricity, through taxes when the government already has too much money.

Why having too much money can be a problem – just ask Hong Kong’s financial chief