21 September 2019
Hong Kong does not have to rely on mainland tourists in order to survive. Photo: HKEJ
Hong Kong does not have to rely on mainland tourists in order to survive. Photo: HKEJ

Say it loud and clear: No to Individual Visit Scheme

To express grievances through peaceful protest is the most civilized way to make your voice heard and is a basic human right to which every citizen in Hong Kong is entitled.

It is absolutely ridiculous for Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung to accuse protesters of being irresponsible.

They were only exercising their sacred right to protest against social injustice; economic development was not their concern.

It is officials like So himself, who get paid a lot and are still unable to find breakthroughs for our economy, rather than the protesters, that should be held accountable for our sluggish economy.

The real problem with Hong Kong is, we are simply going up a blind alley if we continue to rely on parallel traders and mainland tourists to support our retail sector.

Leung Chun-ying far exceeds his predecessor Tung Chee-wah in his ignorance about economics. Back in those days Tung made numerous attempts to facilitate the transformation of our industrial structure by pushing for the development of high technologies in Hong Kong.

Although his attempts have proven futile, we should still give him his due because at least he gave it a try. In comparison, with another round of economic downturn looming large on the horizon, all Leung Chun-ying could come up with is asking Beijing to open up more cities for the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS)!

Over the past six months, the people of Hong Kong have been standing out against parallel traders and IVS visitors with valor and untiring energy, prompting Beijing to take swift action against cross-border parallel trade and cap the number of visitors coming to Hong Kong under the IVS.

It was an unprecedented victory for Hong Kong, despite the fact that some hypocritical pan-democrats like Leung Kwok-hung and Albert Chan Wai-yip quickly dissociated themselves from the movement to avoid further alienating the moderate voters.

This victory has empowered the people of Hong Kong, who would no longer rely on hypocritical politicians to improve their lives. Instead, they are determined to be their own boss.

Although their numbers were small, they succeeded in raising the awareness of the majority with their intense resistance actions.

Last Sunday an anti-parallel trade protest broke out in Sheung Shui again.

Even though its scale was relatively small, with only 200 people taking part in it, and the mainstream media who was just too eager to toe the pro-establishment line was anything but impartial in reporting the protest, its repercussions could be far-reaching.

It might re-ignite another wave of protests and resistance movements against parallel trade and mainland visitors.

Again, let me assert that Beijing will definitely take it seriously and further crack down on cross-border parallel trade and limit the number of visitors to Hong Kong, for Beijing cannot afford to risk further antagonizing the majority of our citizens whose consciousness of their rights has already been awakened.

One disadvantage of the indigenous faction is that although they are united and fearless, they have yet to develop a comprehensive theoretical framework to convince the public that what they have been doing is in the best interest of Hong Kong.

They might become the easy scapegoat for the economic downturn that is imminent, and the pro-establishment camp, pan-democratic traitors and government bureaucrats will definitely not hesitate to blame them for scaring off mainland tourists with deep pockets and ruining Hong Kong’s economy.

So how should the indigenous faction respond to such accusations?

My answer is, they just don’t have to respond at all. All they need to do is to stay the course in opposing the IVS and Hong Kong’s integration into the mainland, to stand against any form of invasion by the communists, to continue to resist the brainwashing via the national education curriculum, and to work harder to preserve our local culture.

The gloves are already off in the fight against “mainlandization”. We must show no reservation and leniency, and should not be afraid of punching above our weight, because our enemies will show no mercy either.

I am not an economic expert, but having lived in this city for over half a century, I will never buy into the nonsense that Hong Kong relies on mainland tourists in order to survive.

To the contrary, I think the quality of life and social harmony in our society at present just couldn’t be worse, thanks to the influx of mainland tourists, and to the “fifth column” who are throwing their weight around under Leung Chun-ying.

It’s time we stood up to save our city by expelling mainland tourists and declaring war on the hegemony of real estate developers.

For the last 150 years Hong Kong has undergone many crises and met a lot of challenges, and we were always able to find our way through difficulties and on to a better life. This time will be no different, and prevail we will.

The article first appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept. 8.

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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HKEJ columnist