Wednesday, 14 January 2015

CY Leung's "Rule of Law"

Leung Chun-ying's policy address includes his ideas to re-educate the young
Days before Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying delivered his policy address this morning, he and other government officials kept insisting that people should follow "rule of law".

It is a mantra they have repeated since the start of the Umbrella Movement and he reiterated it again in the beginning of his speech.

"The rule of law is the foundation of Hong Kong. The democratic development of Hong Kong must therefore be underpinned by the same. As we pursue democracy, we should act in accordance with the law, or Hong Kong will degenerate into anarchy."

Uh huh.

Paul Shieh questions the government's use of "rule of law"
But the outgoing chairman of the Bar Association, Paul Shieh Wing-tai, took aim at government officials on this point when he spoke at the start of the new legal year on Monday.

"There was an increase in the tendency on the part of the executive... to emphasize the 'obey the law' aspect," he said. "To the untrained mind or the unsophisticated, this may sound respectful to the concept of rule of law.

"However, in my view, and in the view of the Hong Kong Bar, ironically that would have the opposite effect of misleading the public."

He said that citing the need to "do things according to the law creates the misconception that many phenomena in society are the inevitable consequences of adhering to the law when plainly they are not. Law had become the scapegoat or excuse".

So while the legal experts decry the misuse of the phrase "rule of law" by the government, Leung and his administration will most probably continue to use it as an excuse to justify anything the government does.

According to Shieh's observations then, either the Leung administration believes we Hong Kong people are uncouth, or they hope constant repetition will finally make us believe everything the government does for us is for our benefit.


Regardless the government is not bridging the difference between perception and reality effectively.

In today's policy address, Leung had a section focusing on young people, looking at national education again "to reinforce students' interest in and understanding of Chinese history and culture and broaden their global outlook".

He also announced a subsidy for students to participate in at least one mainland exchange program in both the primary and secondary schools, as well as double the number of primary and secondary schools with sister schools in the mainland within three years.

"This will help further promote experience sharing between sister schools, enhance teaching and learning effectiveness, and relieve teachers from some of the administrative work," Leung said.

"At the same time, we will explore with mainland provinces and cities to expand and enhance such exchange and cooperation," he continued. "Young people can broaden their horizons through two-way visits, life experience activities, cultural and service collaboration as well as job-seeking experience sharing."

Interesting how Leung is keen to get Hong Kong students more integrated with the mainland when a study by the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre last fall found two-thirds of young people refuse to work on the mainland because they worry about quality of life, rule of law and food safety there.

The Chinese government really needs to do more to clean up the situation, than trying to force young people into accepting the mainland.

While the occasional trip to the mainland would be good for young people to experience, the visit may either heighten their critical thinking skills in separating propaganda from reality, or further exacerbate the differences between mainlanders and Hong Kong people...

That's what one country, two systems is for, right?


  1. I wonder if CY Leung and co have heard the saying "familiarity breeds contempt"?

    1. HI YTSL -- Maybe you should remind him... but then again perhaps who you should really tell is Beijing?!