The series of tragic child abuse cases uncovered in Hong Kong are a wake-up call to every sector of our society that children’s welfare must not be overlooked.
Abusive and chaotic filibuster has been the headache of the Legislative Council for far too long. The anarchic situation is aggravating and vigorously spreading to different parts of the Council. Not only is filibustering hindering the normal operation of our Legislature, it is also upsetting the checks and balance of our constitutional structure, turning the lawmaking body into a political tool of a handful politicians that paralyses the Executive’s administration and the governance of SAR Government. Filibustering is abused as if “cancer cells” in the body of the city’s constitutional structure.
Overall speaking, this year’s Budget (Appropriation Bill) is the best and the most comprehensive one of these past three years. Not only has it taken care of our grass root citizens, support to the middle class is also the strongest in recent years. Although the grievances of the middle class are yet to be fully mitigated, the proposed measures do help alleviate certain pressure amongst the class and therefore, deserve a round of applause.
This year’s Policy Address deserves support for its better coverage and foci than the previous two. But its emphasis on housing, land use and livelihood measures still outweighs economic development. The policy blueprint has not struck a balance on the overall development of Hong Kong: it is not strong enough to boost the economy and lacks new ways of thinking. The government is supposed to do more in diversifying the economy. Efforts should be made to promote the development of the innovation and technology industries - this is a matter concerning Hong Kong’s long-term competitiveness and a key for its industry diversification.
Hong Kong should seize the opportunity for economic diversification, so that it can improve people’s livelihood and prepare for future challenges in public finances. To promote diversification, the city must not only strengthen its traditional pillar industries but strongly support the emerging ones.
The general public is worrying that the “non-cooperation movement” initiated by the pan-democratic lawmakers is pushing the Legislative Council’s operation to the verge of paralysis. For the sake of social stability, there should be countervailing forces in the council to end filibustering.
In recent years, “nativism” has been teething in Hong Kong, with some people arguing that government policies must “put Hong Kong people first”. However, parochial “nativism” is indeed detrimental. Hong Kong’s economic foundation can be shaken if it closes the door and isolates itself.
With increasingly frequent socio-economic interactions and closer economic integration, it is inevitable to cause conflicts between Hong Kong and the Mainland due to differences in cultures and values. Since Hong Kong’s reunification with China, the Central Government has not only given tremendous support to Hong Kong but also introduced many measures to revitalize the city’s economy. Hong Kong has long been contributing to the country’s reform and opening up, while at the same time expanding its economic hinterland. Looking forward, Hong Kong should maximize its strengths by supporting and tapping into the Mainland’s array of reforms for better opportunities.
In recent years some parents use pushy and spoon-fed means to unleash their young kids’ potentials, making their children too preoccupied and overloaded than adults. Too demanding approaches not only deprive children of a happy, carefree childhood but restrain their potential and creativity. The pressing need of society is not a change in the way of education and training, but parents’ respect to the rights of children.
Hong Kong is busy with infrastructure development, but its construction industry is facing acute manpower shortage. Measures so far taken by the government and the industry are far from adequate. As a last resort, a simple yet efficient labour import mechanism is necessary to ensure the on-schedule completion of various public housing and infrastructure development projects.