Saturday, February 26, 2011

United in Anger

One of the most valuable qualities of Hong Kong is the freedom of speech.  Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, and to express it.  Because of that, it is rare to see us Hongkongers in complete agreement. This time, the government has done it - again.  In 2004, the proposal to implement Article 23 of the Basic Law (which threatened to criminalize many activities lawful in open societies) unified Hong Kong people in opposition. 

This time, it is the serious incompetency and blatant disregard of the needs of its citizens that unite the people in anger.  There is no real long term vision, and no concrete measures to support the big words about objectives such as the development of the 6 major industries.  As an example of poor planning, one of the so called major initiatives - to inject 6,000 into MPF accounts - is full of holes.  Many people are not covered.  The funds cannot be accessed until retirement. And much of it will simply be eaten by management fees, fattening fund management companies instead of benefiting the citizens. 

When challenged on many of the items, the financial secretary could only say repeatedly the proposed was the best they could come up with, instead of providing concrete justifications, or comparing different options intelligently.  On many details affecting daily living, the officials are shockingly out of touch, such as setting an hourly fee of $250 for hiring university students as tutors for primary school students, when the going rate is less than half of that amount, or the ignorance about the cost of popular dishes at a cha chaan teng. 

Why are we stuck with these officials who are unable or unwilling to understand and address the real needs of the citizens?  Or to formulate longer term visions and concrete policies?  



Anonymous said...

Hopeless is the government which insults its citizens' intelligence.

StephenC said...

Yes. But they can get away with it because they are not accountable to the citizens.