Peter Kammerer

Hong Kong

Peter Kammerer

Senior Writer and Columnist

Australian-born Peter Kammerer has lived and worked in Hong Kong for more than 30 years, joining the Post in 1988. He is a long-time editorial writer and columnist, as well as a former foreign editor.

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Latest from Peter Kammerer

Shades Off | Who knew a ‘dim sum ban’ was all it would take to get our elderly vaccinated?

Hong Kong’s elderly should have been first in line to get vaccinated but repeated calls fell on deaf ears – until, that is, a restaurant ban was announced. If only authorities had realised that sooner, Hong Kong would be in a much better position to deal with Omicron.

Hong Kong’s elderly should have been first in line to get vaccinated but repeated calls fell on deaf ears – until, that is, a restaurant ban was announced. If only authorities had realised that sooner, Hong Kong would be in a much better position to deal with Omicron.

11 Jan 2022 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | My wish for the new year? For Hong Kong to finally embrace change and innovation

‘Asia’s world city’ must live up to its name by adopting smart technology, switching to clean energy and finally coming to terms with Covid-19.

‘Asia’s world city’ must live up to its name by adopting smart technology, switching to clean energy and finally coming to terms with Covid-19.

28 Dec 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | Even with lacklustre Legislative Council election, a huge to-do list awaits the winners

Regardless of public enthusiasm for the poll, in the absence of disruptions to Legco proceedings, newly elected lawmakers will be expected to solve some of Hong Kong’s most intractable problems, starting with housing.

Regardless of public enthusiasm for the poll, in the absence of disruptions to Legco proceedings, newly elected lawmakers will be expected to solve some of Hong Kong’s most intractable problems, starting with housing.

14 Dec 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | How to solve Hong Kong’s persistent housing issues: think like the mainland

Hong Kong’s laws may offer protections, but they have also been holding back development for decades. It is time our officials updated their ways and mainlandised how they think, to better serve the people and achieve the government’s goals.

Hong Kong’s laws may offer protections, but they have also been holding back development for decades. It is time our officials updated their ways and mainlandised how they think, to better serve the people and achieve the government’s goals.

30 Nov 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | Why the thought of retirement frightens me so much

As the moment approaches, my main fear is not a loss of freedom but having too much of it. I have no idea what to do when my working life ends after four decades of full-time employment.

As the moment approaches, my main fear is not a loss of freedom but having too much of it. I have no idea what to do when my working life ends after four decades of full-time employment.

16 Nov 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | Patriotism gone awry: China’s fragile ‘little pinks’ are on a dangerous Trump-like warpath

Beijing’s online defenders appear committed to the nation but are harming China’s interests. Their latest target is rapper Namewee’s viral hit ‘Fragile’, but the behaviour it lampoons should give them, and officials, pause to reflect, not rage.

Beijing’s online defenders appear committed to the nation but are harming China’s interests. Their latest target is rapper Namewee’s viral hit ‘Fragile’, but the behaviour it lampoons should give them, and officials, pause to reflect, not rage.

3 Nov 2021 - 6:15AM
Shades Off | Hong Kong’s backward zero-Covid policy threatens to kill all our hopes and dreams

There has to come a point where Hong Kong and Beijing accept that the coronavirus is here to stay. Until that day, my plan to buy an apartment in Australia will just have to remain on hold.

There has to come a point where Hong Kong and Beijing accept that the coronavirus is here to stay. Until that day, my plan to buy an apartment in Australia will just have to remain on hold.

19 Oct 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | Are Hong Kong’s leaders speaking the same language as the people?

It makes sense for officials to emulate Beijing’s language on foreign affairs, but it raises questions over their intended audience. The way they speak suggests the opinion of their bosses in Beijing matters more than the concerns of everyday Hongkongers.

It makes sense for officials to emulate Beijing’s language on foreign affairs, but it raises questions over their intended audience. The way they speak suggests the opinion of their bosses in Beijing matters more than the concerns of everyday Hongkongers.

5 Oct 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | With the national security law, I’m finally getting a taste of life in a communist country

Hong Kong authorities’ dedication to the cause of promoting and enforcing national security is impressive. So why have successive governments been unable to address the city’s deep-rooted problems?

Hong Kong authorities’ dedication to the cause of promoting and enforcing national security is impressive. So why have successive governments been unable to address the city’s deep-rooted problems?

21 Sep 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | Patriotism should not lead to a single, Beijing-approved view of Hong Kong history

In our attempt to bring Hong Kong’s account of its own history in line with the mainland Chinese version, there needs to be room to accommodate different points of view.

In our attempt to bring Hong Kong’s account of its own history in line with the mainland Chinese version, there needs to be room to accommodate different points of view.

7 Sep 2021 - 6:51AM
Shades Off | With Covid-19, Hong Kong’s addiction to domestic helpers is becoming dangerous

The scheme to allow in helpers from Indonesia and the Philippines, both badly hit by Covid-19, is alarming. Is Hong Kong so hooked on cheap labour that it is willing to risk its residents’ health?

The scheme to allow in helpers from Indonesia and the Philippines, both badly hit by Covid-19, is alarming. Is Hong Kong so hooked on cheap labour that it is willing to risk its residents’ health?

24 Aug 2021 - 6:52PM
Shades Off | Hong Kong’s Olympic success shows ‘one country, two systems’ is very much alive

Hong Kong’s participation in the Olympics proves Beijing hasn’t broken all its promises. Our sports stars have shown that Hongkongers, when left alone in the arenas they have been promised, can deliver.

Hong Kong’s participation in the Olympics proves Beijing hasn’t broken all its promises. Our sports stars have shown that Hongkongers, when left alone in the arenas they have been promised, can deliver.

10 Aug 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | What kind of future awaits Hong Kong amid official apathy over exodus?

Carrie Lam speaks of a prosperous future while the city faces a demographic emergency. How does she plan to replenish a population declining by the thousands?

Carrie Lam speaks of a prosperous future while the city faces a demographic emergency. How does she plan to replenish a population declining by the thousands?

27 Jul 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | If national security is about silencing dissent, why not make it clear?

The security laws would seem to be mainly about silencing opposition to the Communist Party. If this is so, wouldn’t explaining why this is necessary and how Hong Kong would benefit be a good way of easing concerns?

The security laws would seem to be mainly about silencing opposition to the Communist Party. If this is so, wouldn’t explaining why this is necessary and how Hong Kong would benefit be a good way of easing concerns?

13 Jul 2021 - 8:30AM
Shades Off | Why I’m still in Hong Kong and still writing, despite national security law uncertainties

For some, the best thing to do is stay out of politics, avoid areas of uncertainty and toe the government line. Then there are others, raised in a system that espouses freedom, who feel the need to speak out.

For some, the best thing to do is stay out of politics, avoid areas of uncertainty and toe the government line. Then there are others, raised in a system that espouses freedom, who feel the need to speak out.

29 Jun 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | Hong Kong protests: a ‘colour revolution’ or peaceful demonstrations hijacked by radicals? Let’s not twist history

To represent the movement that brought thousands to the streets seeking justice as an attempt to wrest power from the authorities is to ignore reality. In the current political climate, poorly defined national security red lines can easily be abused.

To represent the movement that brought thousands to the streets seeking justice as an attempt to wrest power from the authorities is to ignore reality. In the current political climate, poorly defined national security red lines can easily be abused.

15 Jun 2021 - 7:56AM
Shades Off | Westerners like me who have lived in Hong Kong for a long time now have an identity problem

Being told to ‘go home’ in a city that feels increasingly unwelcoming poses a problem when I have few connections to Australia, my country of birth, never mind my ‘ancestral home’ of Munich.

Being told to ‘go home’ in a city that feels increasingly unwelcoming poses a problem when I have few connections to Australia, my country of birth, never mind my ‘ancestral home’ of Munich.

1 Jun 2021 - 7:32AM
Opinion | A US$1 million vaccination lottery might just convince Hongkongers to get their jabs

Ohio is offering US$1 million to five lucky lottery winners who have had at least one jab. It is an idea well worth copying; if there’s one incentive Hongkongers understand, it’s cash.

Ohio is offering US$1 million to five lucky lottery winners who have had at least one jab. It is an idea well worth copying; if there’s one incentive Hongkongers understand, it’s cash.

19 May 2021 - 7:32AM
Shades Off | Hong Kong’s harvesting of personal data in Covid-19 fight must be conducted in sunlight

Why is so much personal data required to activate the ‘one-stop personalised digital services platform’ Hongkongers are encouraged to use? That must be clearly explained.

Why is so much personal data required to activate the ‘one-stop personalised digital services platform’ Hongkongers are encouraged to use? That must be clearly explained.

4 May 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | Can Hong Kong’s electoral overhaul spur meaningful change at the street level?

The swiftness of the Hong Kong government’s implementation of changes ordered by Beijing contrasts with its laxness in solving livelihood issues. If the changes mean that officials will no longer put the interests of the wealthy ahead of ordinary people, it may not be a bad thing.

The swiftness of the Hong Kong government’s implementation of changes ordered by Beijing contrasts with its laxness in solving livelihood issues. If the changes mean that officials will no longer put the interests of the wealthy ahead of ordinary people, it may not be a bad thing.

20 Apr 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | Hong Kong democracy: Beijing will struggle to make proud, feisty city bend its knee

Hongkongers raised on freedom, choice, open internet access and responsible use of tax money are unlikely to embrace unquestioning loyalty. No matter how much Beijing says it is in charge, it cannot bulldoze the ways of life of generations of people.

Hongkongers raised on freedom, choice, open internet access and responsible use of tax money are unlikely to embrace unquestioning loyalty. No matter how much Beijing says it is in charge, it cannot bulldoze the ways of life of generations of people.

6 Apr 2021 - 8:30AM
Shades Off | Who can convince sceptical Hongkongers to get vaccinated?

Too few people are taking up vaccines, whether out of low trust, a lack or urgency or poor government messaging. There is a dearth of apolitical stars with mass appeal who could convincingly help promote immunisation in this divided city.

Too few people are taking up vaccines, whether out of low trust, a lack or urgency or poor government messaging. There is a dearth of apolitical stars with mass appeal who could convincingly help promote immunisation in this divided city.

23 Mar 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | Hong Kong is becoming a troubling place to be an Australian

The national security law can be broadly interpreted and a number of articles could be used to make an arrest. Canberra may not fully appreciate the impact its relations with Beijing could have on Australians in Hong Kong.

The national security law can be broadly interpreted and a number of articles could be used to make an arrest. Canberra may not fully appreciate the impact its relations with Beijing could have on Australians in Hong Kong.

9 Mar 2021 - 8:58AM
Shades Off | Many questions remain on Covid-19 vaccines, but they’re the best option for now

Hong Kong must address the legitimate worry about the efficacy and side effects of the three jabs it has chosen, especially Sinovac. But no vaccine is 100 per cent effective.

Hong Kong must address the legitimate worry about the efficacy and side effects of the three jabs it has chosen, especially Sinovac. But no vaccine is 100 per cent effective.

23 Feb 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | Beijing is making it clear that freedom lovers like me are no longer welcome in Hong Kong

As Beijing erodes the city’s rights and freedoms in the name of national security, it is freedom lovers who are feeling alienated and ignored. Many are leaving, and more will follow.

As Beijing erodes the city’s rights and freedoms in the name of national security, it is freedom lovers who are feeling alienated and ignored. Many are leaving, and more will follow.

9 Feb 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | I’ll take the free Covid-19 vaccine, but not government health advice, thank you

Hong Kong is struggling with a fourth wave of Covid-19 largely because officials have made too many wrong calls, ignored telltale signs and been lax in enforcing restrictions. So, when it comes to vaccination, listen to the experts

Hong Kong is struggling with a fourth wave of Covid-19 largely because officials have made too many wrong calls, ignored telltale signs and been lax in enforcing restrictions. So, when it comes to vaccination, listen to the experts

26 Jan 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | Mass arrests point to Hong Kong’s quickening transition to a second-tier Chinese city

Hong Kong officials deny there is any erosion of promised rights and contend their actions are not political. But their fighting words are those of a government intent on breaking from the wider world.

Hong Kong officials deny there is any erosion of promised rights and contend their actions are not political. But their fighting words are those of a government intent on breaking from the wider world.

12 Jan 2021 - 6:45AM
Shades Off | Lessons from coronavirus and Hong Kong’s inept response show us what truly matters

What we have learned during this most trying year has to be ingrained into our being so we can look forward, do better and improve. Love those who mean the most to us, respect and properly pay the people who matter, fine-tune the better work-life balance enabled by home offices and slow down.

What we have learned during this most trying year has to be ingrained into our being so we can look forward, do better and improve. Love those who mean the most to us, respect and properly pay the people who matter, fine-tune the better work-life balance enabled by home offices and slow down.

29 Dec 2020 - 10:54AM
Shades Off | Beijing can dream, but Hong Kong won’t turn into a mainland Chinese city overnight

Hongkongers, even Covid-19-fearing, mask-wearing ones, are noisy, opinionated and open-minded, and it is these qualities that make it difficult or even impossible for Carrie Lam to impose mainland-style restrictions on the city.

Hongkongers, even Covid-19-fearing, mask-wearing ones, are noisy, opinionated and open-minded, and it is these qualities that make it difficult or even impossible for Carrie Lam to impose mainland-style restrictions on the city.

15 Dec 2020 - 6:50AM
Shades Off | History shows the dangerous folly of Carrie Lam’s unopposed governance

To stay in power, an unopposed government relies on brute force or provision of rising living standards. To judge from her policy address, Lam seems uninterested in meeting ordinary people’s expectations for living standards.

To stay in power, an unopposed government relies on brute force or provision of rising living standards. To judge from her policy address, Lam seems uninterested in meeting ordinary people’s expectations for living standards.

1 Dec 2020 - 8:30AM