Friday, 15 June 2007

Retrospect of a Decade (Part 1)

How could I spare myself from sneering when Ada Wong, chairperson of Wan Chai District Board and a vocal activist to defend the culture and heritage of Hong Kong, made a fuss of the attendees to a recent civil service training workshop, who were said to know nothing about the increasingly influential pressure groups such as the Roundtable Group, the 30SGroup and the Independent Media?

The laughing stock was not just those ignorant and arrogant mid-level to senior civil servants who genuinely believe that they are the leaders of Hong Kong rather than a bunch of idiots obsessed with bureaucracy, but also those lawmakers or so-called opinion leaders who waste no time to fire bullets at any game that may stick their head out for any reason.

Unfortunately, the number of those cowards and idiots has been increasing over the last decade, as is their level of lousiness and senselessness.

For one thing, the lawmakers elected in the handicapped democracy of Hong Kong often represent their own interests rather than those of the people who actually cast the ballots to put them on their seats. They even don't bother to conduct opinion polls on key issues before putting words into their electorate's mouth. Unfortunately most Hong Kong people are too busy to be bothered by the fact that they have been manipulated for all these years.

For another, the hopelessly poor and yet deteriorating quality of discussions at the legislature, if those can be truly defined as discussions in any sense, is by all means too embarrassing for the world city of Asia. Sometimes I can't help wondering what the people of Hong Kong have done to deserve nothing better than a bunch of idiots sitting at the bench.

Apparently there are plenty of examples in the ongoing farce surrounding the plunge of a cable car last Monday evening. For example, James Tien, the newly appointed chairman of the obsolete Hong Kong Tourism Board, also head of the pro-Government and pro-business Liberal Party and an elected member of Legislative Council from the New Territories East constituency, spared no time to jump on the bandwagon to suggest that the Tourism Board should seek compensation from the cableway operator for the promotional materials that highlighted the cableway as one of the major attractions during the public holidays in early July but could no longer be used. I have no interest in speculating what Mr Tien's remarks truly meant but just by looking at his complacent and exciting smile displaying the "wasted promotional materials", he left me a strong impression of sheer opportunism by taking advantage of the eyebrow-raising incident in his own benefit rather than the Tourism Board, let alone the public. Pardon me for any scepticism here, but there is no obvious evidence to convince me of anything other than that.

Those who have a chance to attend any legislative session or watch it live on television would probably agree with me that the Hong Kong lawmakers are truly naive and stupid to an extent that has become hardly tolerable. It just seems that these guys - again most of whom are baby-boomers - don't really understand what they are talking about. Words seem to flow out of their lips or any organs other than their brains, if any. And I can never understand their enthusiasm to ask meaningless questions that don't really help resolving matters as if they could receive credits by the number of questions asked in their four-year term.

Now that we should appreciate the concerns of Beijing and its die-hard proteges that Hong Kong is not ready for universal suffrage for the legislature and the chief executive. The issue does not lie in democracy but the people that are more than eager to hijack the system for their own benefits rather than public interest.

While I appreciate the much-touted and even untold concerns of Beijing, as well as the genuinely sordid nature of politics, I am still supportive of introducing democracy in Hong Kong sooner than later. Only by that time could the people of Hong Kong prevent those shameless opportunists from hijacking our ballots for their personal pursuits for longer than necessary.

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