Hong Kong citizens should learn about the nation’s historic achievements

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2017, 3:51pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2017, 9:28pm

The political divide between the pan-democrats and the government has plagued Hong Kong for some time. President Xi Jinping (習近平) advised the city to aim to be a harmonious society. However, this is easier said than done.

First, I fully agree with Xi’s call for more promotional efforts on national education and Chinese culture. Nations the world over consider national education to be a legitimate official responsibility, even though the pan-democrats distort national education as “brainwashing”. Hong Kong people need to learn about China’s historic and economic developments. Since 1981, China has ensured 660 million citizens are freed from poverty. It has accomplished this feat against all odds.

The national anthem, which we now hear broadcast on television once a day, should be played at morning assemblies in schools starting at kindergarten level. Beautiful songs which have become popular on the mainland could also be performed regularly in schools to inculcate national pride and a sense of belonging in young people. The government recently produced an advert, “Hong Kong: our home”. While Hongkongers already feel that sense of identity with the city, they need more information about the mother country, as many of them still do not identify with it.

Second, the government should adopt a more open attitude towards the pan-democrats by including them in public bodies and consultative committees. Some of their proposals, such as a comprehensive retirement protection scheme and narrowing the rich-poor gap, are worthy of consideration, although they may incur more public expenditure. By allowing them to participate, acknowledging their contributions, and working for the common good while accepting differences, hopefully a harmonious relationship can be built.

Third, the Hong Kong independence movement should be condemned for legal, economic and practical reasons.When Hong Kong people realise the harm that the movement can do to the community, they will speak out against localists. Public opinion exerts strong pressure on destructive forces that hinder the process of healing the political rift.

Fourth, in addition to these conciliatory approaches, there should be strict enforcement of the law. The courts must punish individuals who oppose the government by breaking the law, including troublemaking lawmakers.

A special cross-departmental task force should be formed to look into strategies that can be implemented, to bridge the divide between the two main (pan-democratic and pro-establishment) parties so that Hong Kong can retain its stability and prosperity.

Patsy Leung, Mid-Levels