Policy address fails to tackle core issue

Business | Andrew Wong 21 Oct 2019

Leaders around the world pay far too much attention to GDP and ignore livelihood issues and because of this many nations will face mass demonstrations, which will become more serious over time.

However, when it comes to solving the problems of demonstrators, other countries have made had much progress in several areas, compared to unsighted Hong Kong.

Thus, many Hongkongers will continue to believe that the moon is rounder and brighter in foreign lands, as the saying goes.

The policy address provided an opportunity to solve existing political issues as well as Hong Kong's deeper problems, but this year, the policy started off with words of condemnation followed by special thanks to the police force, who are the subject of great dispute among Hong Kong's society today.

The policy address gives people the perception that the government is not serious about solving Hong Kong's problems and will deepen the rift in a society which is already torn apart.

Yes, violence is to be condemned, but is the policy address a suitable platform to name and blame?

The government has always been the first to condemn any act of violence -- isn't that enough?

What's more, Hong Kong's political crisis stems from a lack of proper advice from the government in amending the fugitive bill.

If it is really necessary that a denunciation should appear in a policy plan for the future, then shouldn't there also be some self-denunciation?

While thanking the police, even if Chief Executive Carrie LamCheng Yuet-ngor feels she has no one left but 30,000 officers to keep her in authority, why did she not consider the emotions of other Hongkongers?

Why did she not thank to those who were injured while preventing acts of violence, or the firefighters who prevented acts of arson from turning into major disasters, or Hong Kong's 175,000 civil servants, who have had to work in the face of low government popularity.

The burning issue in Hong Kong is its youth who do not have sense of belonging and who believe that the SAR and city is without hope.

The late Chinese leader Mao Zedong once said: "You young people, full of vigor and vitality, are in the bloom of life, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is placed on you."

And a recent poll conducted by The Economist, showed that mere 3 percent of people under the age of 30 identify themselves as Chinese, which reflects how serious the youth problem is in Hong Kong.

Yet, the words 'young' and 'youth' appeared just five times in this year's policy address, compared with 111 in 2018 and 83 in 2017, and fewer than 56 times in the chief executive's election platform.

The policy address does not bring much to the table for solving Hong Kong's underlying problem so it hard to place our hopes on it.

Andrew Wong is chairman and CEO of Anli Securities

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