Perry Lam
Perry Lam

Hongkongers are a miserable lot, according to the 2014 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Based on a survey of about 146,000 people aged over 15, it ranked Hong Kong 120th among 145 countries and territories, far behind Taiwan (59th), Japan (92nd) and Singapore (97th).

Just what was on the mind of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying when he said, on a number of occasions, that Hong Kong needed to strengthen its image as a "tourist city"?

People have been predicting "the death of Hong Kong" since the infamous cover story published in Fortune magazine 20 years ago warning that the prosperous days of the city would be over after the 1997 handover.

Kailash Satyarthi, who shared this year's Nobel Peace Prize with 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai for their struggle against the suppression of children and for young people's rights, said in his acceptance speech.

The Occupy Hong Kong movement has been with us for some time now. What came as a revelation isn't how much the protesters love democracy, but how much they hate the status quo.

Hongkongers are not known for their sophisticated understanding of the intricacies of politics. But it has always been their folk genius to know where interest lies.

Why would anyone in her right mind put herself through something like this? It's a question I can't help asking myself while watching the heroines of reality shows swearing, crying, confessing and despairing across the screen of my television.

If this is political theatre, it is time to bring down the curtain. The pan-democrats and radicals act like children determined to give everyone hell because they cannot get their favourite toy.

There are books that you read and there are books that hit the nail on the head so hard that you want to get your teeth into them. Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century clearly belongs to the second category.

Hong Kong may have the most advanced urban mobility system in the world. But as far as social mobility is concerned, the city is certainly more still waters than rapids.

Be careful when you demand an apology, for your turn will come. The Hong Kong government has been relentless in trying to extract a top-level apology from the Philippine government for its criminal incompetence over the 2010 Manila bus siege. Yet, it has apparently not given even a momentary thought to saying sorry to the Indonesians for mistreating their compatriots who have come to the city to work as domestic helpers.

Can a publication promote arts and culture by taking a critical stance on it? If you have pledged your allegiance to arts and culture, should any criticism on your part be termed "unpatriotic"?

In practice, politics has always meant the systematic mobilisation of support and organisation of hatred. That's why no government in power can resist the temptation to wrap itself in the flag and preach patriotism.

What is it about the English language that makes usually sensible people stop making sense? A former spokesman for the Education Ministry suggested China should abolish English classes in primary schools as a means to "free the children and save the Chinese language". Instead of being booed off the stage, he was taken seriously.

Oscar Wilde famously said that he could resist anything but temptation. If there's one thing Hong Kong viewers can't resist, it's bad television. It came as little surprise, therefore, that they fell head over heels for Inbound Troubles, TVB's drama serial which ended its month-long run a few weeks ago, making it the highest-rated network show so far this year.