Hong Kong’s housing, education and health care woes call for boldness, not business as usual
- Hong Kong must step out of its two comfort zones – its successes in the past and the support of the Chinese government
- The Hong Kong government should offer a vision for the future instead of merely allocating funds to core problem areas in each budget
I am writing in response to the article “HK needs a dose of humility to get back on track” (November 5).
No doubt “the death of Hong Kong” is a problem that all of us are confronted with, but I do not think that it is because Hongkongers are becoming complacent and conceited, as the article argues. Rather, our decline can be attributed to our timidity; in other words, our fear of change.
Hong Kong was one of the four “Asian dragons” along with South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. Hong Kong’s rapid economic growth attracted a huge amount of overseas investment, talent and advanced technology. However, the growth of Hong Kong has slowed or, in some areas, even stalled in recent years.
The Hong Kong government allocates funds to different areas, such as education, health care and housing every year. Yet, the education system seems to be failing to produce the talent needed, there is still a great paucity of services and staff in areas such as the public hospital system, while the housing shortage has made it difficult for young people to buy their first home. These problems have existed for years and have not been alleviated.
This is because the Hong Kong government is functioning in its comfort zone, viewing these problems as business as usual. The yearly expenses on different areas of concern are just a way for the government to show Hongkongers that they are still working hard on them. Although it is not easy to resolve any of these issues because it is hard to anticipate the detrimental consequences that may arise, the government should be leading us in taking steps towards the future.
The well-developed society built by Hongkongers in the past is one of our comfort zones, and the Chinese government is another. Needless to say, the Chinese government provides Hong Kong with many resources and great support, but the Hong Kong government should also be proactive and suggest some initiatives that would improve the city. We should consolidate the strengths of Hong Kong and the mainland, instead of just following the mainland.
Initiative and creativity are ultimately important for the growth of Hong Kong.
Yan Lam, Tseung Kwan O