"If you want to read a blog to get a sense of what is going on in Hong Kong these days or a blog that would tell you what life was like living in colonial Hong Kong, this blog, WALTER'S BLOG, fits the bill." Hong Kong Blog Review
"How about tackling poverty, housing issues and providing a decent pension scheme instead of relying on the rip off MPF?"
Be under no illusions. While the national security law has dampened the ardour of the opposition voices in Hong Kong, it has not driven them away. Besides, as a Covid lid presses down on protest activities, disaffection simmers below the surface.
So unless Carrie Lam can dissipate the underlying sentiment of restlessness, pressure may build again. Could that lead to a return of unrest? Hard to say.
Last Friday, the annual June 4th remembrance passed with muted activities in various districts. Covid restrictions played a part in preventing large gatherings. In the past, the violent radicals used the cover of peaceful crowds to mount their attacks. On this occasion, a pro-active police presence sought to deter groups, which undoubtedly inhibited the radicals.
Whatever happened in Beijing, June 1989, and accounts vary, people did die, including soldiers, students and citizens. However, a confusion of reporting feeds disputed versions of the exact circumstances. Overlooked by most commentators is the larger violent clashes between the army and workers away from the square.
Yet, in the Hong Kong context, discussing such details is relatively futile because Tiananmen is pivotal to the political zeitgeist. Moreover, it has a totemic quality highlighted by the annual vigil. Accordingly, only one narrative prevails. Furthermore, it is all too easy to dismiss the youngsters who mark the event as naive, as most were born well after 1989. Yet, a bit of self-reflection will bring out the truth that we all celebrate anniversaries for events before our birth.
Each year the gathering in Victoria Park proves a huge money earner for the opposition. With stalls selling items and collecting donations, the vigil helps swell their coffers. The gathering is so crucial that when the police changed the crowd flow into the park for public safety reasons, an uproar erupted because the route bypassed a valued donation point.
With media reports suggesting the oppositions funds are drying up, you can see why they'd be keen to organise any money-raising event. But, cut off from donations, overseas funds and fighting many legal actions, most commentators agree their influence is waning.
A lack of funds may become critical for them in the forthcoming LegCo elections scheduled for November. In preparation for that, the opposition first needs to decide if they will run; then mount a campaign within the new perimeters. That needs money.
One group, the League of Social Democrats, has already indicated it will not take part. Others may opt to do the same.
For Carrie Lam, this removes any excuses for failing to put in place policies that serve the best interests of Hong Kong people. She can no longer hide behind claims that the opposition hinders progress. Because, in truth, she has no functioning opposition. How about tackling poverty, housing issues and providing a decent pension scheme instead of relying on the rip off MPF? Through such actions Carrie may demonstrate she has the best interests of Hong Kong people at heart.
Come on, Carrie, the ball is your court.
Walter De Havilland was one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Royal Hong Kong Police and Hong Kong Police Force. He's long retired.