Saturday, 1 November 2014

Think Tanked-Out

A new think tank to help Hong Kong thanks to Tung Chee-hwa
In 2000 then former Legislative Councillor Christine Loh Kung-wai left politics and set up Civic Exchange, a think tank that focuses on public policy with regards to social development, the environment and economic analysis.

Then in April 2013, former Chief Secretary Anson Chan Fong On-sang set up Hong Kong 2020 to monitor constitutional reform progress to achieve universal suffrage to vote for the chief executive by 2017, and all members of the Legislative Council by 2020.

And now earlier this week former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa set up Our Hong Kong Foundation to improve Hong Kong's standing in the Happy Planet Index, conduct research to improve people's lives, and provide facilities for new leisure activities.

Allan Zeman is part of Our Hong Kong Foundation
Tung is particularly concerned about the Umbrella Movement protests and yesterday gathered over 70 directors for a two-hour meeting.

While we know Grandpa Tung has good intentions, can we point out a few of the people attached to this foundation?

They are: former financial secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung, former Monetary Authority chief executive Joseph Yam Chi-kwong, Shun Tak managing director Pansy Ho Chiu-king, former Ocean Park CEO Allan Zeman and former chief justice Ti-Liang Yang.

The only person with a democratic background is Tik Chi-yuen.

Can we just stop here and observe that most of these people are tycoons and are certainly looking out for their own interests and not necessarily concerned about seriously engaging the protesters, most of whom are students.

Irons Sze says there should be more talks with young people
Leung remarked he was concerned about Hong Kong's economy if the protests continue to drag on. "I am worried it will also seriously affect the rule of law, which is a core value for the city's role as a financial centre," he said.

This is coming from the senior official who bought a luxury car shortly before announcing a proposal to sharply increase taxes on new cars...

And then Zeman mustered up this comment: "The most important thing is that we find the way that we can have harmony with the students and everyone can get back to the way Hong Kong was."

Zeman used to read trends and people well, but now he's completely lost touch with this statement. After these protests, Hong Kong will never be the same again. People have been greatly affected by the movement that was sparked by the police unleashing tear gas 87 times and resulted in the continued occupation of Causeway Bay, Admiralty and Mongkok. They have seen people's passion in their sacrifices in the hopes for universal suffrage.

How can he even begin to assume Hong Kong can be back to what it was before? That's what people don't want! They are trying to change things for the better.

So Tung's cozy club of some 70 people sounds very similar to those who visited Beijing over a month ago -- the uber rich who live in their own bubble. Irons Sze Wing-wai says it best. As Chinese Manufacturers' Association president, he suggested perhaps the think tank could work on improving communication with young people...

We wonder what that will entail...

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