Perspectives June 2017 | Youth Hong Kong
Looking to the Future
Needing to trust I
n this frank and personal view, 26-yearold Alex Pang asks what the incoming government can do to increase young people's hope for the future. Twenty years ago, many Hong Kong people thought that with the “One Country, Two Systems”* principle Hong Kong could still remain the place we knew instead of becoming just a Special Administrative Region of China. Today, we all understand that the central government makes all the important decisions. I believe that the Hong Kong government needs to be more proactive, with more authority and influence. It worries me that so few talented young people consider joining the government. If political problems did not create such a barrier they might feel more encouraged and political development might not be so slow. For now though, unexceptional people make policy decisions and I don’t think the government can do much to build trust. Of course, there are exceptions. Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, the former President of the Legislative Council, has political wisdom and understands the situation. He also seems willing to understand and communicate with people who hold views different from his own. That is so important if you are hoping to reach a mutually acceptable outcome and it is crucial if you want to rebuild trust. Otherwise there will be a stalemate. In my opinion, only very few Hong Kong people are really asking for “Hong Kong independence.” Generally, people just focus on earning enough to cover the high cost of living. They feel they have no choice and many find life very difficult and stressful. Of course, all this affects children as well. They face huge pressure at school because 22
their parents want so much for them to be successful. Look at all the tragic student suicides. When did our society become like this? How could we allow such things happen? It would help to increase transparency and optimism if we saw more opportunities. In the economy, the focus is always on the finance sector and property development. This is too narrow and not healthy for society as a whole. Singapore, on the other hand, has very good high-end manufacturing, with the focus on innovation in science, medicine and engineering which seems more balanced. However, I always wonder whether the government really wants to listen to public opinion. Public consultations are poorly promoted and many people are unaware that they are taking place. Members of the public often feel that the government does not really care what they think anyway. Instead, when policy decisions emerge they seem to reflect a foregone conclusion reached by a government bureau.