Thursday, 13 October 2011

Trying to Salvage a Legacy

Donald Tsang addresses the media after his policy address
Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang made a last-ditch attempt in his last policy address yesterday to raise his sagging popularity with measures to address problems the public has been complaining about.
In the speech entitled "From Strength to Strength" he outlined a number of proposals to ease the housing issue which is foremost on Hong Kongers' minds. Tsang said that 17,000 subsidized homes would be available for lower income families (monthly incomes of HK$30,000 or less) from 2016 for four years and more land for 20,000 private homes a year.

Some critics complain this initiative was done before and created a glut in the market during Tung Chee-hwa's administration and this will only repeat history.
Then Tsang thought he'd address young people's concerns of not being able to own a flat by offering the creative suggestion of having hostels for single people aged 18-30 to live in to gain some independence. Huh? What they were protesting about was government being too cosy with property developers, not being homeless.
There weren't many initiatives in the two-hour speech in terms of tackling air pollution except that the government would inject HK$180 million into buying 36 electric buses on a trial basis. It's something that should have been done years ago. What about doing more to curb the pollution of private cars and trucks as well? There seems to be more luxury cars on the roads, particularly Maseratis than hybrids and electric cars.
Another curious suggestion is setting up an "international cuisine college" in Pok Fu Lam to help young people become professional chefs. Tsang claims the school will be set up to address the high turnover in the food industry, but perhaps it's because of crap salaries and tough bosses?

And there is still a social stigma attached to people becoming cooks as many are typically not well educated; but are these culinary graduates going to be the next Joel Robuchon and Alain Ducasse?
Perhaps one of the good things Tsang spoke about was that seniors and disabled will only have to pay HK$2 for all MTR lines, buses and ferries at any time of the day. And there will be monthly tickets for seniors to use public swimming pools. While it's great to see the government promoting healthier lifestyles among the elderly, why not young people too? That way everyone's health care costs can go down, and with less sick days productivity will be boosted even further?
Seems like the Hong Kong government has only thought one step ahead rather than a few steps more...


  1. should have done it early in his term. a little late- may be a trap for the next c.e.o.

  2. yes , agree. it is too late now, should have done it right after he was in power. may be this is a time bomb. much like "fat pang".