Carrie Lam

Five ways Carrie Lam and her team can prove to Hong Kong they are not out of touch

  • Carrie Lam, like her predecessors, has failed to raise her profile as a caring leader
  • Hongkongers are basically unhappy, dysfunctional and feel let down by a super-rich government
PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 November, 2018, 7:32am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 November, 2018, 7:32am

As all previous chief executive candidates, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor conducted community visits to raise her profile as a caring leader in early 2017. Like all her predecessors, she failed to follow up.

Tasks like ribbon-cutting and cosying up to developers, authorities and mainland counterparts take up not only her own time, but also that of her secretaries and ministers. It is about time all of them left their desks, used public transport and moved around in Hong Kong to feel the pulse of our society.

This is the only way to get in touch with a society which is basically unhappy, dysfunctional and, for 80-90 per cent of the people, means surviving on their own mettle or on that of their families, while feeling let down by a super-rich government.

The time of concrete pouring and spending on white elephants should be well behind us. Back to basics, I would say.

You can only be a visionary if you get your basics right. And one thing is for sure: our government does not have its basics right.

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First, overhaul our education system: All innovation initiatives are bound to crash if creative thinking is not made a major part of the present curriculum.

Second, if our medical services are lacking because of a shortage of staff, we should hire overseas medical workers and lower admission restrictions.

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Third, retrieve land from developers who are not willing to share their wealth with the needy.

Fourth, finally attack and end the racist and discriminatory small-house policy.

Fifth, ensure that, with trillions of dollars in the bank, there is no poverty in Hong Kong. We should focus on a sharing society, where the gains are distributed equally. How can it be that out of a village of 7 million people, with trillions in the bank, one million live in poverty?

Our government should seriously reflect on these issues. Looking in a mirror sometimes hurts, but it also helps you to face reality.

Peter den Hartog, Tuen Mun