Hong Kong As It Is

Hong Kong needs political leadership

Hong Kong governance raised alarms. The Financial Secretary John Tsang last week announced a very unpopular Budget that has invoked public anger, especially toward the one-off injection of $6000 into each account of Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF). People are angry because only some, those having the accounts, benefit, and they deem the distribution as unfair. Second, the money cannot be used until one’s retirement age.  When Hong Kong’s inflation rate hits the highest in two years, the general public considers the measure not relevant and a waste of money. Third, the management fees of the MPF funds charged by the fund houses have been high, cutting deep into the MPF funds. The injection of the funds into MPF accounts is seen as beneficial for the greedy fund houses only. 

The rage is so widely felt that the Financial Secretary had to announce this week that he will amend the Budget so that each HK citizen over 18 years old will be given $6000 in cash. 

The fiasco has a few implications. First, the extent to which the government lacks sensitivity towards and understanding of the need of its people is alarming. It exposes the problem of Hong Kong governance – a government that is not elected, and therefore disconnected with the reality and the need of its people.  Second, policy is never well thought through. The Budget is only one of the many examples of government officials backtracking from policies and proposals under huge public pressure. Third, the government has no vision. This can be best seen by the fact that the government, under public pressure, chooses the easy way out – simply giving every one, regardless of their financial status, money. So every body is happy. The government would face no opposition. 

No doubt that Hong Kong needs better political leaders and policy makers. That would hold the key to Hong Kong’s future. But the commercial city with entrenched tradition in business has made it difficult to nurture political talent. It is a curse on Hong Kong. That needs to be changed.

By Anna

With a wanderlust and lusts of other sorts, I look to sth new, sth different, sth fulfilling, and find myself on a journey...

2 replies on “Hong Kong needs political leadership”

But surely there is another more disturbing aspect to this political ineptness – the turning of HK people into little children, demanding and expecting cash handouts.

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