Hong Kong leaders can no longer ignore elephant in the room
Although the government has its hands full dealing with various pressing challenges at the moment, it must not delude itself that last year’s fury has dissipated.
Let us dial back to around one year ago, when the streets were filled with fire and the tear gas, the slogan “five demands, not one less” was repeatedly screamed by the protesters, and an atmosphere of panic permeated the whole polarised city. Until the pandemic hit, I couldn’t see any signs of the movement easing any time soon.
Now, the Hong Kong government has its hands full tackling the economic crisis, pandemic prevention work, and maintaining the city’s reputation as an international financial centre. However, the fact that public dissatisfaction with and anger towards the government has not dissipated is the elephant in the room.
Even if the government successfully handles the aforementioned issues to everyone’s satisfaction, I don’t think the relationship between the government and the people can be repaired, trust in the government and its machinery restored, and broken hearts consoled.
In light of the above, and given how polarised opinion is in Hong Kong, it is naive to expect rational discussion or negotiation. The leadership of Hong Kong and even that of China should consider a comprehensive plan in good faith to repair the relationship between the government and the people. In particular, the political root cause of the civil unrest and social dissatisfaction should be addressed politically.
Given the implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong, it is the right time for Beijing to take this sort approach by, for example, reintroducing political reform. Since the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong to China, it is obvious that the “one country, two systems” system as laid out in the Basic Law has not been functioning as well as originally expected.
I understand that maybe the timing is not yet right, and it would be more appropriate to take action after the US presidential election, but the government should bear in mind that the accumulated hate will not go away in time if nothing is done to win hearts and minds.
What is the cure for Hong Kong’s future? “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that”, as Dr Martin Luther King Jnr put it during the US civil rights movement.
It is clear that Hong Kong has suffered political upheaval and economic headwinds in recent months, and will take a long time to bounce back. It is also clear that both camps should engineer a progressive reconciliation with sincerity.
Kwok Wing-hun claims he came back to Hong Kong after becoming infected with the coronavirus and did not want to die in Europe, according to insider.
Measures come as city reports 80 new infections, most of them tied to a dance club cluster that has grown to 187 cases.
Taxi driver, 81, and motorist, 29, got into altercation after traffic accident in Yau Ma Tei. Police say argument stemmed from issue of who would pay for damage.
Limits on travel and socialising will be eased for five days during the festive period, and up to three households can form a ‘Christmas bubble’.
Can you walk down a street in a Chinese city and not get caught on a surveillance camera? One artist tried to do exactly that,...
The British government has launched a website that tells UK digital and tech businesses how to manage "risks" regarding receiving investment from China.
Luxembourgian MEP Christophe Hansen, who sits on the European Parliament’s international trade committee, has warned Michel Barnier...
A Tory MP has called for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel to intervene after an "elderly...
On Wednesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak begins setting out plans for what he hopes will be an economy beyond Covid-19.
A woman linked to burglaries on three celebrities' homes was wearing Tamara Ecclestone's rose gold earrings when she was arrested, a court has heard.
As much as £1bn in benefit fraud has been prevented from being paid to organised-crime groups in recent months.
More than one in five secondary pupils in England missed school last week, with worsening Covid disruption.
The total number of deaths occurring in the UK is nearly a fifth above normal levels, latest figures show.
Scotland has become the first country to allow free and universal access to menstrual products, including tampons and pads, in...
A senior Government lawyer caught ‘upskirting’ on the Tube while advising ministers on trade deals in the lead-up to Brexit has been allowed to keep his job.
A police sergeant was allegedly caught having an affair with a married deputy chief constable after her husband heard their conversation through their doorbell camera.
Two best friends have been sending each other the same Christmas card back and forth for more than 50 years.
A heartbroken family have been struck by a triple coronavirus tragedy, after three generations died from the virus in the space of a week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has topped the 30,000 mark for the first time.
COVID-19 could double the number of people experiencing food insecurity globally thanks to rising food prices, unemployment and...
Some familiar faces and Washington veterans are being tapped to fill key roles in the administration of President-elect Biden,...
China's Chang'e-5 rocket is on its way to the moon, with a mission to bring rock samples back to Earth. It's the...
The first 100 days of a new presidency has become a benchmark for how a president will run their administration. So what has Joe...
People's cultural backgrounds and the languages they speak could soon be recorded when they get a COVID-19 test, an "essential"...