There are two choices lying right before me: first, not believing that Hong Kong can resolve its social inequality and the underprivileged can climb up the social ladder; and second, believing that our city can still fulfill the new generation’s “Lion Rock” dream.
I have decided to choose the latter, and that’s because Hong Kong has a lot more problems to deal with than just political reforms.
For example, our local industries are pretty much tailor-made for those who at least have an undergraduate degree.
Yet as far as young people who are unable to receive university education are concerned, their long-term economic and skills development has often been overlooked.
As for housing, apart from providing public rental housing (PRH) flats, the government should also consider our citizens’ ability to buy their own Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) units or private properties.
When it comes to promoting equal rights, our government has been dragging its feet on legislating anti-discrimination measures.
We can’t just wait until “the time is ripe” for embarking on this legislative initiative.
I believe the administration should be more pro-active in facilitating social consensus on this issue through the “politics of hope”, in order to help the disadvantaged integrate into our society and get the respect of others that they deserve.
Some people might argue that there is no point in fixing these “small” issues when our political system is so fundamentally flawed and unjust.
So why don’t we set aside other issues for the time being and focus our energy on re-activating constitutional reforms in Hong Kong in order to fight for more political rights for our fellow citizens?
After all, the underlying nature of politics is to serve the interests of the people.
True, the democratic system itself does have an intrinsic value.
However, one of the most basic purposes of a democratic system is to ensure that all Hong Kong people, regardless of their social background, wealth, or political stance, are entitled to the right of participating in building our city’s future.
As such, for me, “to believe” not only represents an attitude, but also action and, perhaps even more so, a long fight.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 20
Translation by Alan Lee
[Chinese version 中文版]
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