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 | 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.

23 Feb 2021 - 6:45AM

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.

Many questions remain on Covid-19 vaccines, but they’re the best option for now
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.

9 Feb 2021 - 6:45AM

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.

Beijing is making it clear that freedom lovers like me are no longer welcome in Hong Kong
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

26 Jan 2021 - 6:45AM

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

I’ll take the free Covid-19 vaccine, but not government health advice, thank you
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.

12 Jan 2021 - 6:45AM

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.

Mass arrests point to Hong Kong’s quickening transition to a second-tier Chinese city
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.

29 Dec 2020 - 10:54AM

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.

Lessons from coronavirus and Hong Kong’s inept response show us what truly matters
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.

15 Dec 2020 - 6:50AM

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.

Beijing can dream, but Hong Kong won’t turn into a mainland Chinese city overnight
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.

1 Dec 2020 - 8:30AM

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.

History shows the dangerous folly of Carrie Lam’s unopposed governance
Shades Off | To stay in Hong Kong or go? Beijing’s latest ruling reignites the dilemma

While the city has faced violent protests and the imposition of the national security law in the past year, Beijing’s ruling last week overrode all of Hong Kong’s mechanisms designed to ensure a high degree of autonomy.

17 Nov 2020 - 7:05AM

While the city has faced violent protests and the imposition of the national security law in the past year, Beijing’s ruling last week overrode all of Hong Kong’s mechanisms designed to ensure a high degree of autonomy.

To stay in Hong Kong or go? Beijing’s latest ruling reignites the dilemma
Shades Off | Whoever triumphs in the US election, Xi and Putin will be the biggest winners

American democracy was in poor shape before Donald Trump took office. A political system that offers voters a choice between Trump and Joe Biden has obvious problems.

3 Nov 2020 - 6:45AM

American democracy was in poor shape before Donald Trump took office. A political system that offers voters a choice between Trump and Joe Biden has obvious problems.

Whoever triumphs in the US election, Xi and Putin will be the biggest winners
Shades Off | Travel bubble with Singapore: How the Hong Kong government got it wrong

Singapore is neither among the top five of Hongkongers’ preferred destinations nor the only one with a good record of handling Covid-19. Taiwan is the obvious candidate, but a travel bubble with it is probably a bridge too far for the Beijing-fearing government.

20 Oct 2020 - 1:02PM

Singapore is neither among the top five of Hongkongers’ preferred destinations nor the only one with a good record of handling Covid-19. Taiwan is the obvious candidate, but a travel bubble with it is probably a bridge too far for the Beijing-fearing government.

Travel bubble with Singapore: How the Hong Kong government got it wrong
Shades Off | Why Hong Kong residents can’t easily be educated into loving China

Beijing’s man in Hong Kong has called for patriotic education for students and civil servants. But given Hongkongers’ wide access to information and the many who fled to the city from the mainland, inculcating love of country will take more than textbooks.

6 Oct 2020 - 8:30AM

Beijing’s man in Hong Kong has called for patriotic education for students and civil servants. But given Hongkongers’ wide access to information and the many who fled to the city from the mainland, inculcating love of country will take more than textbooks.

Why Hong Kong residents can’t easily be educated into loving China
Shades Off | Why I’d be happy to work from home post-pandemic, and I’m not alone

For many, working from home means a better work-life balance, as it offers more flexibility and avoids time lost to the daily commute. While it doesn’t suit everyone, companies should offer both in-office and remote options.

22 Sep 2020 - 6:45AM

For many, working from home means a better work-life balance, as it offers more flexibility and avoids time lost to the daily commute. While it doesn’t suit everyone, companies should offer both in-office and remote options.

Why I’d be happy to work from home post-pandemic, and I’m not alone
Shades Off | Why some Hongkongers who don’t like it in Hong Kong are staying

Telling someone to leave if they don’t like what they see is the fallback position of a person who does not have a valid argument. While Hongkongers have to be realistic about the future, it doesn’t have to mean giving up on change.

8 Sep 2020 - 8:15AM

Telling someone to leave if they don’t like what they see is the fallback position of a person who does not have a valid argument. While Hongkongers have to be realistic about the future, it doesn’t have to mean giving up on change.

Why some Hongkongers who don’t like it in Hong Kong are staying
Shades Off | Why claims that Hong Kong’s national security law will have a limited impact ring hollow

While officials insist the impact of the law will not be significant, the arrests of pro-democracy figures, disqualification of Legco candidates, and suspension of extradition treaties tell a different tale.

25 Aug 2020 - 8:23AM

While officials insist the impact of the law will not be significant, the arrests of pro-democracy figures, disqualification of Legco candidates, and suspension of extradition treaties tell a different tale.

Why claims that Hong Kong’s national security law will have a limited impact ring hollow
Shades Off | The big test for Beijing: will Hongkongers accept a made-in-China coronavirus vaccine?

For the city government, there is no better way of showing loyalty and trust than by implementing a compulsory immunisation scheme – but will you stick your arm out?

25 Nov 2020 - 8:42PM

For the city government, there is no better way of showing loyalty and trust than by implementing a compulsory immunisation scheme – but will you stick your arm out?

The big test for Beijing: will Hongkongers accept a made-in-China coronavirus vaccine?
Shades Off | Hong Kong third wave: the focus on protests shows flawed government priorities

The failure to address preserving people’s health and livelihoods in the security law reveals how blinkered leaders are. Unlike someone protesting for rights, someone with Covid-19 symptoms who goes on as if there is nothing wrong is harming public health.

28 Jul 2020 - 10:15AM

The failure to address preserving people’s health and livelihoods in the security law reveals how blinkered leaders are. Unlike someone protesting for rights, someone with Covid-19 symptoms who goes on as if there is nothing wrong is harming public health.

Hong Kong third wave: the focus on protests shows flawed government priorities
Shades Off | Like coronavirus fight, time for Hong Kong to adapt to national security law

The freedoms that are perceived as having been lost are gone and are most likely not coming back under the present regime. Getting on with our lives and doing what we can to stay safe is the price of being a Hongkonger in these challenging times.

3 Aug 2020 - 7:21PM

The freedoms that are perceived as having been lost are gone and are most likely not coming back under the present regime. Getting on with our lives and doing what we can to stay safe is the price of being a Hongkonger in these challenging times.

Like coronavirus fight, time for Hong Kong to adapt to national security law
Shades Off | How Hong Kong should cope with the national security law: keep calm and carry on

Given that the national security law on the mainland targets those who oppose the Communist Party, the same could be expected for Hong Kong. Nevertheless, it would be best for Hongkongers not to panic, but get on with their lives.

30 Jun 2020 - 6:33AM

Given that the national security law on the mainland targets those who oppose the Communist Party, the same could be expected for Hong Kong. Nevertheless, it would be best for Hongkongers not to panic, but get on with their lives.

How Hong Kong should cope with the national security law: keep calm and carry on
Shades Off | Hong Kong and US protests are different – in how police brutality claims are treated

Unlike in Hong Kong, public outrage over the allegations of police violence is taken seriously in the US. While being deaf to protesters’ demands, Hong Kong and Beijing officials are busy calling out the US for double standards.

16 Jun 2020 - 8:43AM

Unlike in Hong Kong, public outrage over the allegations of police violence is taken seriously in the US. While being deaf to protesters’ demands, Hong Kong and Beijing officials are busy calling out the US for double standards.

Hong Kong and US protests are different – in how police brutality claims are treated
Shades Off | National security law is a bitter betrayal of Hong Kong’s promise and exposes all to fear and intimidation

Anyone who disagrees with the Communist Party line is likely to become open to bullying, credit-scoring and revenge – reminiscent of the weaponisation of fear during the Cultural Revolution.

2 Jun 2020 - 9:00AM

Anyone who disagrees with the Communist Party line is likely to become open to bullying, credit-scoring and revenge – reminiscent of the weaponisation of fear during the Cultural Revolution.

National security law is a bitter betrayal of Hong Kong’s promise and exposes all to fear and intimidation
Opinion | Mask handout: another example of a government that doesn’t listen, giving people what they don’t want or need

The scheme to hand out free reusable masks has turned into a PR disaster. It’s time officials learned to be honest and transparent, serve the people and only hand out that which is wanted and needed.

19 May 2020 - 6:30AM

The scheme to hand out free reusable masks has turned into a PR disaster. It’s time officials learned to be honest and transparent, serve the people and only hand out that which is wanted and needed.

Mask handout: another example of a government that doesn’t listen, giving people what they don’t want or need
Shades Off | Coronavirus in Hong Kong: how the past three months have changed us

Covid-19 has taught us the benefits of moving parts of our lives, from schooling and shopping to medical consultations, online. The need for social distancing has swept aside officials’ and lawmakers’ efforts to safeguard legacy industries.

5 May 2020 - 7:00AM

Covid-19 has taught us the benefits of moving parts of our lives, from schooling and shopping to medical consultations, online. The need for social distancing has swept aside officials’ and lawmakers’ efforts to safeguard legacy industries.

Coronavirus in Hong Kong: how the past three months have changed us
Shades Off | After being holed up to contain the coronavirus, Hongkongers must now show agility befitting the Year of the Rat

As case numbers drop, Hong Kong should consider easing restrictions so businesses that have been hard hit have a chance to recover, especially since Hongkongers have shown themselves capable of being responsible about hygiene.

21 Apr 2020 - 1:49PM

As case numbers drop, Hong Kong should consider easing restrictions so businesses that have been hard hit have a chance to recover, especially since Hongkongers have shown themselves capable of being responsible about hygiene.

After being holed up to contain the coronavirus, Hongkongers must now show agility befitting the Year of the Rat
Shades Off | Hong Kong is in crisis. Where are the billionaires who have profited so handsomely in the good times?

The coronavirus outbreak has worsened the city’s recession, hitting vital sectors and leaving many jobless. Who is helping the needy and vulnerable? Only Li Ka-shing has publicly shown his philanthropic side.

7 Apr 2020 - 9:30AM

The coronavirus outbreak has worsened the city’s recession, hitting vital sectors and leaving many jobless. Who is helping the needy and vulnerable? Only Li Ka-shing has publicly shown his philanthropic side.

Hong Kong is in crisis. Where are the billionaires who have profited so handsomely in the good times?
Shades Off | As coronavirus ravages the world, I’d rather be in Hong Kong right now than anywhere else

Hong Kong’s prior experience with health emergencies, good infrastructure and a population with an instinct for self-preservation have combined to keep the city’s infection rate relatively low.

24 Mar 2020 - 7:02AM

Hong Kong’s prior experience with health emergencies, good infrastructure and a population with an instinct for self-preservation have combined to keep the city’s infection rate relatively low.

As coronavirus ravages the world, I’d rather be in Hong Kong right now than anywhere else
Shades Off | As the coronavirus spreads globally, packed restaurants and handshakes show Hong Kong is getting complacent

While mask wearing is still ubiquitous, more Hongkongers are venturing out to restaurants and social gatherings. Meanwhile, Covid-19 continues to spread and the risk of contracting it is still high.

10 Mar 2020 - 7:14AM

While mask wearing is still ubiquitous, more Hongkongers are venturing out to restaurants and social gatherings. Meanwhile, Covid-19 continues to spread and the risk of contracting it is still high.

As the coronavirus spreads globally, packed restaurants and handshakes show Hong Kong is getting complacent
Shades Off | With no trust in their government, Hongkongers have to take care of themselves in coronavirus chaos

Amid the uncertainty, fear and anger, don’t blame Hong Kong’s predicament on Covid-19 or even the protests. Things have been shifting since 1997, when city officials began to put Beijing’s needs over those of Hongkongers’, and have been shifting faster since.

25 Feb 2020 - 9:00AM

Amid the uncertainty, fear and anger, don’t blame Hong Kong’s predicament on Covid-19 or even the protests. Things have been shifting since 1997, when city officials began to put Beijing’s needs over those of Hongkongers’, and have been shifting faster since.

With no trust in their government, Hongkongers have to take care of themselves in coronavirus chaos
Shades Off | Has Carrie Lam’s tardiness in closing Hong Kong’s borders condemned me to a holiday on Christmas Island?

The Hong Kong chief executive’s incremental closing of the border with China has created uncertainty for many travellers as governments around the world shut out arrivals from the city or subject them to quarantines.

11 Feb 2020 - 9:00AM

The Hong Kong chief executive’s incremental closing of the border with China has created uncertainty for many travellers as governments around the world shut out arrivals from the city or subject them to quarantines.

Has Carrie Lam’s tardiness in closing Hong Kong’s borders condemned me to a holiday on Christmas Island?
Shades Off | Coronavirus in the Year of the Rat calls for a decisive Carrie Lam, not the passive leader seen during the protests

The government has been criticised for leaving the police to handle protesters instead of finding a political solution. Now, Carrie Lam must not put health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak at more risk than absolutely necessary.

17 Feb 2020 - 2:11PM

The government has been criticised for leaving the police to handle protesters instead of finding a political solution. Now, Carrie Lam must not put health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak at more risk than absolutely necessary.

Coronavirus in the Year of the Rat calls for a decisive Carrie Lam, not the passive leader seen during the protests
Shades Off | Hong Kong is no longer ‘Asia’s World City’. Time for a radical rebranding

Protests have eroded or made irrelevant the branding values first promoted nearly 20 years ago. Hong Kong’s brand needs rejuvenation, something that better showcases its different viewpoints, customs and even its colonial past.

14 Jan 2020 - 8:05AM

Protests have eroded or made irrelevant the branding values first promoted nearly 20 years ago. Hong Kong’s brand needs rejuvenation, something that better showcases its different viewpoints, customs and even its colonial past.

Hong Kong is no longer ‘Asia’s World City’. Time for a radical rebranding