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Hong Kong housing

The real challenge for Hong Kong: how to avoid giving in to vested interests

  • An executive-led system is always in danger of becoming elitist and out of touch with the real problems of society
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2018, 11:05pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2018, 11:05pm

I think Harry Harrison’s October 29 riposte to Gordon Wu Ying-sheung’s TV comments is spot on. Wu said the city’s biggest challenge is “learning to be democratic” (“Property tycoon dismisses protesters”, October 28), but I think a larger challenge for our government officials is not being bound by vested interests.

What makes Wu imagine that the “silent majority” will support his views? Actually, most people in Hong Kong have to spend so much effort just to eke out a meagre living that they do not have the time to form any reasoned opinion.

If the “silent majority” did express a view, I volunteer that it would be against government collusion with tycoons, especially in matters of land development. They have been hand in glove in perpetuating the high land price policy and creating the housing crisis. Similarly, officials and the establishment use the word “biased” in an attempt to discredit everyone who has a differing opinion to the official line.

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I agree with Stephen Vines’ article of October 25 (“The futility of consultations”). An executive-led system is always in danger of becoming elitist and out of touch with the real problems of society. Public consultations should be a good way to gather a full diversity of perspectives. But as they are now viewed as not genuine, many experienced and professional people no longer participate.

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It has been obvious for a long time that there are only two official objectives. Firstly, to massage support to a predetermined outcome; or secondly, to allow officials to avoid responsibility and then to procrastinate in search of an ever-elusive consensus.

I.M. Wright, Happy Valley