Can Hong Kong still move on?

October 23, 2019 15:28
Hong Kong doesn’t need a revolution, but it definitely needs structural reform, says the author. Photo: HKEJ

The current state of affairs in Hong Kong is not only frustrating but also driving quite a lot of people to despair about the future of this city.

The endless political tensions and vandalism, the government’s continued indifference to the people’s demands, and its repeated failures to seize the opportunity to resolve the crisis are alienating members of the public and exacerbating the political deadlock in society.

In my opinion, Hong Kong doesn’t need a revolution, but it definitely needs structural reform, particularly when it comes to nurturing political talent and restructuring the political establishment.

Structural reforms should target the executive branch, such as improving the degree to which the governing team is connected with the public, and enhancing their political sensitivity and their ability to gauge public sentiment.

The reform initiatives should also foster in-depth public discussions about the representativeness of the Legislative Council and the leadership of our city.

For this reason, we must press ahead with constitutional reform, which has ground to a complete halt for several years, no matter how bumpy the journey ahead might be.

Hong Kong’s problems go far beyond land shortages, and social and economic inequalities.

There are other problems in our society, ranging from racial discrimination to our increasingly weakening education system, from the lack of opportunities for young people to influence policy-making to the poor enforcement of the accountability system.

Rifts and violence are only the physical symptoms of more deep-rooted issues.

In order to cure our problems, we must get to the root. Only by doing so can we truly defend Hong Kong’s core values – peace, diversity and perseverance.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct 21

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Editor-in-Chief, Oxford Political Review