Unrest 'not just a problem' among youth

Top News | Phoenix Un 12 Jul 2019

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung has admitted the fugitive bill unrest should not handled as if it is a "youth problem."

He said that during a Youth Development Commission meeting yesterday, hours after its members said restructuring the advisory body is a "wrong diagnosis" for the controversy.

With many youngsters joining the movement against the fugitive bill, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she would enhance communication with youngsters.

One of the measures would be to restructure the commission, which was restructured only a year ago from the former Commission of Youth, and chaired by Cheung, 67.

Yesterday, Cheung and Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah attended a commission meeting to hear views about how it should be reformed. The city's second-highest official admitted that despite the high turnout of young protesters, the fugitive bill saga should not be handled as a youth problem.

Commission member Senia Ng Sze-nok said at the meeting that the protests are a social and political issue that cannot be solved by merely restructuring the body.

She suggested that members should be elected by a "one person, one vote" process by youngsters.

The only pan-democrat representative on the commission, Ng said before the meeting that reforming the commission is either "the wrong diagnosis" or a diversionary tactic because the body has never discussed the bill and Lam has not responded to the demands of protesters.

She said members should not be appointed by the chief executive and instead be elected by youngsters.

"If youngsters can enjoy 'one person one vote' to elect their own representatives, then they can have power to decide what youth issues will be handled," Ng said.

Commission member Nixie Lam Lam of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong said Carrie Lam's solution is unfair, adding that the government should instead change its paternal attitude toward youth.

"The government just thought of inventing new things or adjusting current mechanisms, which might have worked in the past but not now," Lam said.

She doubted if there would be change no matter how many times it implements reforms.


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