22 October 2016
Ten Years (right) reminds us of the upcoming Legco election for the accountancy functional constituency. Photos: Xinhua, HKAFF
Ten Years (right) reminds us of the upcoming Legco election for the accountancy functional constituency. Photos: Xinhua, HKAFF

Ten Years and the upcoming elections

Low-budget movie Ten Years has stirred up much controversy after it won the best film award at the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards.

The movie depicts a dystopian future for Hong Kong as Beijing tramples on human rights and exerts greater control over the territory.

A famous local movie producer threatened to boycott the awards unless the mechanism used in choosing the winners is reviewed.

Many movie theaters also refused to screen the movie, apparently because of its politically sensitive theme.

But that only made the public more eager to watch the film.

The more restrictions imposed on the movie, the more people talked about it.

In fact, many things that have happened in Hong Kong are similar to the scenes depicted in Ten Years.

For example, every time pro-establishment politicians comment on an issue, people take an opposite stand.

When a member of the Movie Producers and Distributors Association lambasted the best film winner, the public decided to find the time to watch the film.

The controversy makes me think of the coming Legislative Council election for the accountancy functional constituency in September.

Most accountants are “economic animals” who don’t care much about what’s happening around them.

After all, they spend so much time at work, and they barely have time for themselves and their families.

That can be seen from the low voting rate during the annual elections of the Council of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA).

However, when it comes to major issues, most accountants stick to their principles and vote for candidates not identified with the establishment.

Why? It is often that the bosses are mostly in the pro-establishment camp. 

Almost always, the young ones oppose anything their bosses openly support.

This is not surprising at all when you think about how these bosses treat their employees.

Accountants usually work very long hours and they are paid less than other professionals in the financial industry.

Young accountants are definitely not happy about the situation. So it’s quite natural for them to express such dissatisfaction when they vote.

So far, the pro-establishment camp has yet to agree on the candidate, which suggests that young talents in their camp are not ready to take over.

It’s so ridiculous that the pro-establishment camp with its massive resources has failed to train one or two outstanding frontrunners over the past four years.

The key to win the election this year is to be able to woo young accountants.

Horace Ma Chun-fung is the writer of this article, which appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 8.

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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