What’s the root cause of the current political crisis in Hong Kong?
If you ask the editor of a popular youth-oriented weekly magazine in the city, he won’t tell you it’s about the people’s demand for genuine universal suffrage.
Lam Yat-hei, founder and chief editor of the 100 Most Magazine, will tell you it’s the huge gap between the government and the city’s young people.
It’s both generation and communication gap, he said. They simply don’t see eye to eye.
“The more youngsters know about the mainland, the more distance they feel,” Ming Pao Daily quoted Lam as saying in an interview.
“Adults always urge us to seek opportunity on the mainland and brag about how a mighty nation China is, and they often talk about the many benefits the mainland is providing Hong Kong.”
For example, the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, which was launched on Monday, allows Hong Kong investors to buy mainland stocks, while their counterparts across the border will boost our stock market.
But frankly, Lam said, Hong Kong youths don’t give a damn.
He said both sides, the government and the young people, have to understand and communicate more with each other.
The students who have joined the pro-democracy protest are simply demanding for room to express their views, and the issue of electoral reform should focus on giving them a bigger role to play in the community.
“We should let more people earning less than HK$14,000 a month to have a voice in the Legislative Council,” Lam said, referring to earlier remarks by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying that the protesters’ demand for public nomination of candidates will lead to poor people dominating the elections.
Ricky Wong Wai-kay, founder of Hong Kong Television Network Limited, said: “It’s hard to find a government official who understands young people.”
In fact, government officials might not have even heard of the 100 Most Magazine, he said.
Wong also quoted comments by former financial secretary Antony Leung, who blamed successive administrations for Hong Kong’s political crisis, saying they have ignored young people since the 1997 handover.
Last month, the magazine featured a yellow ribbon on its cover to show support for the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement. It also carried articles making fun of anti-Occupy and pro-Beijing groups.
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