18 January 2010

High Speed, High Drama – Part 1 高鐵鬧劇-上卷



After weeks of floor debate and filibustering by pan-democratic lawmakers, the Legislative Council finally approved the HK$66.9 billion (US$8.6 billion) funding for the local section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (廣深港高速鐵路). The section will connect the city to the Mainland’s massive high-speed rail network, an ambitious program that boasts the world’s fastest and longest rail line among numerous other superlatives.



Given Hong Kongers’ penchant for convenience and connectivity, you would expect the public to welcome the new transport system with open arms and open wallets. Our government had certainly counted on the rail link proposal, like so many other infrastructure projects in the past, to sail through the legislature without anyone putting up much of a fight. But the proposal has instead stirred up a hornets’ nest and landed the government in the center of one of the biggest political crises in recent memory. Angry protestors besieged the legislature building and nearby Chater Garden (遮打花園), turning busy Central into a bloodless Tiananmen Square. Young activists on makeshift podiums shouted stirring slogans alongside hungry strikers and their camping tents. To call the government’s handling of the controversy a miscalculation would be too generous.



Under the current government proposal, the rail link will measure 26 kilometers in length and run for 11 minutes from Shenzhen (深圳) to West Kowloon (西九龍). The appendage is miniscule compared to the overall network but it comes with an eye-popping, jaw-dropping price tag, thanks to the government’s insistence to run the train route straight through the heart of the city and to stick the terminal right in the middle of an urban hub. West Kowloon not only is the site of a high-profile cultural district under construction, but it is also home to the ICC, the city’s tallest building, and numerous other residential developments. At a time when every metropolis is moving its transport hubs away from the city to improve traffic and create opportunities for under-developed areas, the current rail proposal can be likened to bringing our airport from rural Lantau Island back to its original address in East Kowloon.



Hong Kong’s strict environmental regulations require the entire railway to be built underground, which will cap the train’s top speed in the Hong Kong section at half of that of the national network. And as many engineers and experts have pointed out, these high-speed trains can very well run on MTR’s existing West Rail Line (西鐵綫), which connects the rest of Hong Kong to northwestern New Territories near the Shenzhen border. Under this so-called “shared use proposal” (共用方案), the high-speed train will utilize the under-utilized MTR tracks, thereby obviating the need for miles of tunnel to be dug. During hearings with law-makers, government officials rejected this sensible alternative because the train ride would take 13 minutes instead of 11. Putting it in less diplomatic terms, the government is bulldozing taxpayers with a plan that can potentially save passengers two minutes but will cost tens of billions more. It will be the costliest 120 seconds in the history of railway, a pork barrel project that makes Boston’s Big Dig seem prudent.



But that is not all. The two-minute time saving becomes a complete myth once you factor in the need for passengers to get off the train to clear customs. Downplaying it as a “technicality” only to be worked out after construction begins, the government has swept under the rug an enormous administrative issue that not only could throw the promise of an 11-minute ride out the window, but also question the very rationale for building the Hong Kong link-up in the first place. Perhaps our government figures that by the year 2047, Hong Kong’s “one country, two systemswill have expired and there won’t be a need for border control any more. On certain issues, it seems, our bureaucrats display exceptional far-sightedness and plan way ahead.



Sticking to the oldest trick in their political playbook, government officials went to great lengths to divert attention away from the real issues, using political truisms like job creation and economic competitiveness. In much the same way opponents to the school-based drug test program (校本驗毒計劃) are accused of being soft on drugs, naysayers to the rail project are uniformly branded as trouble-makers who deny Hong Kong its geographical merger with the Mainland. The fact that there are viable options to connecting our city to the national network other than the one put forward by the government, such as the shared use proposal, continues to evade the gullible. The use of smoke and mirrors by governments is nothing new; what is surprising is the number of people who still fall for them. Tens of thousands of self-proclaimed “railway supporters” organized Facebook groups and took to the streets in the name of Hong Kong’s future, not realizing that they had completely missed the point and in doing so became mere pawns in the government’s political game.



The rail link proposal, the largest infrastructure project since the 1997 Handover, defies common sense and has enraged the city from taxpayers and environmental activists to residents of Tsoi Yuen Tsuen (菜園村) soon to be displaced by the construction. Government officials’ refusal to budge even in the slightest is, at best, another example of their arrogance and highhandedness. At worst, it suggests that there may be much more to the story than what the public has been told. Did Beijing ordain a master plan nobody dare defy, or is it because of some gentlemen’s handshake with powerful property developers that cannot be retracted? In a city of pseudo-democracy and black-box governance, we will never know.



42 comments:

  1. Hello Jason,

    To me, this is a piece that fits to your column title as I am afraid on this issue, I do not agree with your point.

    Phil

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm very surprised that there are actually quite a number of people support this "hi-speed" railway proposal. Sometimes I underestimate the "conservative" side of Hong Kong people.

    D.

    ReplyDelete
  3. D,

    Perhaps that's why Beijing says Hong Kong lacks "political maturity" to have universal suffrage. Perhaps Grandpa is right all along... perhaps we don't DESERVE the right to vote...

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  4. To be honest, part of me want this high-speed railway budget proposal get approved, that's the only way to prove the supporter wrong. Haven't we learn anything for the past? Sorry, I should not feel that way.

    D.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Phil,

    I welcome all views, whether or not they agree with mine. Would you care to explain your position so that myself and other readers can offer a response?

    This is an important moment in our city's political development and it deserves a full discussion.

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jason,

    (I will try since I am at work right now.)

    For any policy from any government, there are and always will be supporters and opposition. So it is only natural that in this case, some people support the Railway Project and some don't. They all have their own reasons. The Choi Yuen Tsuen residents are defending their homes. The engineers and architects are debating the project by offering their professional opinions etc.

    From my view, at first, people oppose to the Project because it is too expensive. Then the arguments shifted to the location of the terminal and the route. Then the argument is that the government did not consult the public long enough. Then, it is the argument of the custom and speed of the train.

    My position is simple. I do believe the railway is necessary and will bring good to Hong Kong as a whole. As someone in facebook mentioned too, petrol price is only going up in the future, we need alternative transportation. Express Railway is the option.

    Again, I know and understand for any policies, there are oppositions. Yet the method they use to express their point AFTER the Legco meeting is wrong. I did comment on your facebook account about that but retracted the message. The scuffle was started by the "post-80s", not the police. It is no comparison to the '89 massacre because the military came to the students. The students did not push the barricades.

    I support the Railway Project but I do not think the government or the officials are doing their jobs properly. I do agree they can handle the matter much better. But then, I wonder even if they ever learnt from this experience and handle whatever next, there will be no opposition from the "pro-democratic gangs" or the "post-80s". I do think a lot of the people oppose to any policies for the sake of being opposition and to gain political advantages.

    I do also have concern about the "post-80s". I saw them on the news. Some of them have their arms up in the air, raving and chanting but they were all smiling and as if it is a game. I wonder if they know fully what they are really doing. Or it is only a opportunity for them to express their anger and frustration in life and "take that out on the government".

    Phil

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with what Jason's point.

    Hong Kong government is not doing their job properly. The cost of the railways is huge and there is no one in the government can be held accountable let alone missing a great opportunity to develop New Territory. I cannot imagine the worsen cogestion in our city once it is built.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am with Phil on this. It is very sad to see that everything in HK is politicized these days. People are not opposing to the project (not even the cost or details of the project, as Jason would like to lead us to believe). They are just opposing to everything that the government does. And then you have the young people who are treating this like a game or a party. If HK is relying on these young people, we are in deep trouble. Fortunately they are not the majority - just see all the Facebook groups that support the project.

    Nobody is saying that the government is doing a perfect job, but you have to give them a chance. The demise of HK is not caused by the government, but by those so called "politicians" who only understand conflict but not compromise.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm a former journalist and fiction writer, born and raised in HK. I'm not one of those post-80's kids who got removed by the police by force, but I spent a lot of time at those protests because I'm against the XRL.

    To the anonymous noter above, or those who hold the same views: How did you draw your conclusion that people who oppose the XRL haven't done their research? Do you know what statistics do they have at hand? Have you dropped by any of the protests, open talks and seminars to hear what they've been saying? Did you watch the broadcast of any of the panel discussions - do you know what kind of answers were given by Eva Cheng, in response to the many questions raised by the Pan Democrats - many of which having been drafted by the protesters outside, perfectly intelligent and informed questions.

    As a former journalist, I have to point out that the local media is very much pro-government. Yes you see some clips of those youngsters throwing their arms up in the air, but do you get to see the ones of them calling to each other to be calm and patient, singing; or the ones of a mother of two boys, thanking the young protesters in tears, 'you've taught me a lot.' No the local media won't show it, but I can tell you all these happened coz I was there.

    Sure there're airheads in every group, including the post-80's kids who raged against the XRL. But are you 1. so blindly receptive to what you see in the media or; 2. so intolerant that you'd pass judgment on a group of young people, 'If HK is relying on you guys we're in trouble' when all they did was throw their arms up in the air or the like?

    People who're pro XRL have their reasons, and you may well criticize those oppose your view. I just find it shocking that some of you can be so narrow-minded and jump into these moralistic conclusions. Criticize, yes, but explain your logic and proof before you put labels on anybody else.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dear Nicole (the former journalist),

    If you were responding to my previous comment (the anonymous noter above), I did not mention anything about how knowledgeable the protestors are on the subject. What I was questioning is their motive. I think the majority of the group outside of legco were opposing the government - the XRL just gave them the opportunity to do so. Of course there would be people who had spent time understanding the issues and had formed their own opionion on the subject, but I think most people would agree that those are the minority. I'd congratulate you if you are one of those more inquisite individuals, but please read my short post again and don't put words in my mouth.

    As with your point of the local media being very much pro-government, I respectfully disagree. Actually I find your comment quite disrespectful to your previous profession. Maybe that is why you are not in that profession anymore. Besides, there are enough different voices all over the internet these days to give people a very balanced perspective on things. I tend to believe that I am an independent thinker, instead of the "narrow minded" type that you try to label me as.

    And don't even get me started on the so called Pan-democrats. Aren't they exactly the group that politicizes everything? What does the XRL budget have to do with universal suffrage? I have been utterly disappointed by this group.

    So, back to you. Please explain your logic and proof before you put labels on anybody else. Put on your (ex-) journalist hat, but not the fiction writer one.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I do agree with Jason that the issue isn't whether the railway is beneficial to HK. The blatant fact is that it will be, since integration with "motherland" is inevitable. It is delusional to continue in believing that "two-systems" is independent of "one country".

    Having said that I caution against adopting a patronizing attitude towards the "post 80s" - not entirely because I am one but for the fact that if one listened, many of them sensibly accept that they know the project is unstoppable. But the means with which the government is rushing the bill through display a blatant disregard to any opposing views. It is this arrogance and lack of accountability that we are intolerant. Well, that and having gone through a public education that sways back and forth between two tongues neither of which the teachers are very fluent, being out-competed by foreigners in getting into our own universities and being called incompetent every so often on the newspaper. Well, I guess we should be careful not to become a bloody Marxist lest we upset grandpa.

    The one-sided portrayal of the issue shows a lack of capacity by our politicians to sway public opinions. It is sad that HK lacks a leader who can come up with any sane and sound analysis on the issue such that people will be convince of the benefits which a high-speed rail will surely bring. I am not convinced that one high-profile visit by a lady dressed in blue is enough to convince me that for every second we delay millions will be lost.

    Mad youngsters perhaps, but the more one ignores the "post-80s" the more Hong Kong is shooting itself in the foot. Contrary to public opinion not all of us are lazy daises sheltered in glass top greenhouses. We are not entirely irrational. We are just not immune to the foreclosure of opportunities as in the face of a global crisis the benefit of which we are excluded but the burden of which we shelter. Some of us may just be a bit afraid and unsettled about an uncertain future.

    Of course, I concede that some post 80s are crazy.

    Sorry Jason, tainted your board with some post 80s madness.
    Sunny

    ReplyDelete
  12. From "the anonymous poster above" again:

    Dear Sunny,

    Thanks for speaking up for your generation, which has been the focus of discussion of any social matters of late. I never like to use the term "post 80s" to describe your generation. To me that is labeling the entire group with a broad brush. I fully understand that there are very bright independent thinkers like you among the group. That's why when I said we are in trouble if our future relies on "these young people", I was only referring to those who can't think for themselves and treat everything like a game or a party. I truly believe that we have a strong young generation to keep HK on the leading edge, but I would urge you to speak up more for yourselves in this crazy political environment.

    ReplyDelete
  13. rita veronica leungJanuary 19, 2010 at 1:25 AM

    the one who pinpoint nicole as former journalist please shut the fuck up!!!! u r just a bitch who knows how to debate well but it doesnt show that u r more clever than anyone else who speak up here! wat " former"? "former" can mean "more experienced"
    u tend to hav discrimination on pplz including nicole & young pplz, wats wrong with former, wat r u formerly??? u r just a single living form biologically!
    Dont step on pplz !
    For the large group that support the railway, i joined at first becoz at that time no one knew that how the railway would be built in wat way, their routes , y the expenditure was so high, it was that after i saw jason talking about this in fb, i quitted the group immediately and pplz were like me, going to another group, u will see that pplz will shifting from one group to another soon, pplz here dont respond fast and not everyone is closely monitoring the tv especially the facebook age group here r mostly youngsters, check it if u dont know. Its very lucky that we hav a group of young pplz thats demonstrating in Tv that we knew something was wrong, U maybe very rich or in the middle age resting in peace a yuppie maybe dont know wat is actually in this society and being conservative and businesslike in everything u talked!! i tell u wat, this railway is built for u so u can go back China easily to hav more young gals or u hav easy access to ur business!! keep ur eyes wide open!!! I fully support wat nicole said and this is an ultra good written article which is factual enough to bring the truth !!!
    我唔係反高鐵, 我反高鐵走線!!! this group now has over 4000 pplz already!

    a lesser voice doesnt mean its not right!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi everyone,

    I am loving this heated debate! It is only through vigorous discussions that we discover the truth.

    The purpose of this "Part 1" is to cut through some of the smoke and mirrors surrounding the railway proposal and do some analysis for my readers before they reach they own conclusion. Television news, the only source of information for many people, only reports events and never explains what's behind them. I hope at least this "Part 1" has helped to break down the issue for some of you.

    Keep this debate going. But try not to use profanity if you can help it. Thank you!

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  15. For the anonymous commentator who wrote "It is very sad to see that everything in HK is politicized these days." I hear this criticism everyday and it is one of those things that really makes me cringe.

    And so let me say this once and for all: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH POLITICIZING AN ISSUE. Politicization means holding the government to the fire and subjecting its actions and policies to the vigor of, well, political debate. Politics is the very system on which our society relies to keep our government in check. In a true democracy, everything is, and should be, politicized.

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's a shame the real issues and sensible discussions of alternative plans were not brought to the attention of the public... a lot of noise were created for sure, but the manner of protest, politicizing by certain politicians and the counter-proposal did not win the heart of the people and shut the mental door for exploring other options by many of us. Had the opposition movement done a better positioning and PR, maybe that could have made a more positive impact on the public opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What does the XRL budget have to do with universal suffrage?
    I'm surprised people can't see the link between xrl budget and universal suffrage. It's very simple and basic.

    With the functional constituencies, the government can pass anything in the legco without lifting a finger, the hong kong people can't do anything about it except take it to the street
    The passing of XRL budget is a perfect example of this.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you Jason for this article. I wasn't sure what was going on even after watching the news reports on TV! I have to say that I'm against it too now based on your facts. Why waste so much money when they can already utilize the West Rail, right? If Beijing is in fact the ones behind this, we all better enjoy HK as it is today, because I for one will be out of here once HK becomes China for realz!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks, Dan. I too have noticed quite a bit of this sort of "tunnel vision" in Hong Kong. I keep hearing people criticize protestors for "politicizing" the express rail issue. To these people, railway is only about railway and any discussion of political reform is beside the point or part of the pan-democrats' "political game".

    But railway is NEVER just about railway, like toxic baby formula is not just about food safety and Google is not just about Internet filters. Each of these events exposes holes in the SYSTEM that will some day boil over and explode right in front of our eyes.

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  20. Miss Fong,

    I am very glad that my article changed your views. I hope more will do the same, one reader at a time!

    Not everyone in Hong Kong is as lucky as you and me, who can pack up and leave if things begin to go south. That is more the reason for each of us to try to push for changes while we still can.

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  21. It's quite interesting to watch both the supporting and opposing sides are speaking totally different languages.

    The opposing is discussing the technicality of while the supporting keep emphasizing the need of the railway system.

    It's like a family try to do a renovation job, one member is complaining why there is no door to the bathroom, another one keep saying how much they need to renovate.

    Why does it happen? I think deep down our society is so polarized, that some of us just refuse to listen to any others' opinions and simply dismiss them as "opposing to everything"

    Remember linkreit (領匯), where are all those 領匯 supporters now? I'm sure after the railway got built, we won't see any of these supporters anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  22. P.S. the government used to support the “shared use proposal” 共用通道 until 2007, here is a quote of the report submitted by the government:


    如果我們採用專用通道方案,我們可以提升隧道設計至最高車速每小時 200公里,然而預算建造成本會因此大大增加數十億元,原因是隧道需要建得更大來抵受高速列車的車身與隧道壁之間所產生的巨大風阻力。」

    文件續稱:「不過,即使鐵路最高時速可每小時多提升 40公里,行車時間只能由 13分鐘縮短至 11分鐘,全程只是減少兩分鐘。花數十億元來節省兩分鐘的車程是不合理的。再者,廣深港高速鐵路的目的是將乘坐鐵路列車往來香港至廣州的時間縮短至一小時之內,而共用通道已能夠達到這個目的。

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great examples, especially the one about renovation!!!

    This is how I picture the debate: you and I are up-to-here (or "coughing blood", to use a Cantonese expression) trying to explain to, say, our sister Linda, why it is ridiculous to have a doorless bathroom. But Linda keeps shouting back with things like "don't you think it's important to have a better home?" "don't you care about how we live?" and worst of all, "why are you always trying to pick a fight, objecting for the sake of objecting? Why are you killing our family's harmony?"

    And that's when I slap Linda in the face REALLY HARD, grab her shoulders and shake her REALLY HARD, and tell her "WAKE UP!!!"

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks, Dan.

    There are roomfuls of these documents, feasibility reports, etc., but everything is fallen on deaf ears because our legislative process doesn't require the government to listen. All that these officials need to say is, "That's nice. Now, where were we?" and do whatever they were going to do.

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  25. Well Jason, why not go and share your intelligence and insights with those face book groups?

    I also find it amusing that you are accusing those who holds a different view from you as being pawns being suck in by the governemt. I could apply the same resaoning to those anti railway protesters of being suck up to those Pan Democrats. Isn't Jan 27th going to be a big day for the Pan Dems? It seems to me the Pan Dems is putting up a political show to drum up support for their resignation plan more than their "concern" for the railway.

    Give me a break Jason, get off of your high horse.

    Regards,

    B.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Love a feisty comment!

    The XRL controversy is intimately related to the political reforms sought by the pan-democracts under the "Five Constituencies Resignation" (五區總辭) campaign. As Dan pointed out, the former is a prime example of why we need the latter. Therefore it is only understandable that the two issues are linked up. It is not what you called a "political show."

    And as for the high horse, I am not riding any, that's just how tall I am.

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  27. And to make the case worse:
    in order to save face, brother Peter, the one who suggested the doorless bathroom, would say to Linda, "See, here comes the irrational Jason shaking you again. Sometimes, I really doubt whether he is one of us." Our confused Linda would become more confused. And somewhere down the road, she might draw a conclusion - politicizing the renovation project was the source of all problems.

    Kelvin

    ReplyDelete
  28. To Jason, danielng and those who think like them: here is the fundamental difference. There are people who are, dare I say, more rational and just want to address issues based on the merits of the subject matter, so that we can continue to move the society forward. Whereas people like you just keep rolling everything into a political problem - one that is too big to solve for years to come. Not that we should ignore the need for political reform, but I think most people wouldn't agree that we should do that at the price of keeping everthing else stagnant. Can we keep these very different issues separate? I believe you'll find many XRL supporters equally supportive to, say, general suffrage if we can approach it in a more rational manner.

    Also, I am disappointed to see that you seem to be coming from a high horse and accuse people of not understanding the real issues, and not understanding how the XRL budget is ultimately linked to politics. I think those simple facts are quite obvious to most people, and the existence of groups like 我唔係反高鐵, 我反高鐵走線!!! is just a deflection tactic, or maybe shows how defensive or even ignorant some people are.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, "the arc of history is long , but it bends toward justice."

    I know it will sound like a cop-out when I say this: let history be the judge and see who ends up on the right side of history and who ends up on the wrong side.

    And if I end up on the wrong side, I promise I will buy you a drink.

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  30. Those of you who are a little confused about who Jason, Linda and Peter in our fictional scenario are supposed to be -- I admit Kelvin was being a little cryptic -- please send me a Facebook email. If you are not an existing fan or friend, you can look me up by typing "Jason Y Ng".

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  31. yes, I can agree what the Anonymous said: just want to address issues based on the merits of the subject matter


    So please go ahead and do so: don't tell us how important the railway is, we are talking the technicality:

    Without "2 customs in one place" 一地兩檢, all passengers have to get off in Shenzhen, it become more like actually a 直通車 "shuttle train" to Shenzhen rather than hi-speed train to various Chinese cities.

    the government's response is: we are in process of studying to resolve this problem.


    I don't have time to name the other technical problems,
    e.g. only a small percentage is benefited from the location of West Kowloon,
    the speed of the train is only 200km/h way under the standard hi speed railway standard 250 km/h,
    the cost of the whole project is 66.9 billion which is the most expensive railway system in the whole wide world,
    half of the 66.9 billion is spent on construction of 15 underground platforms which is designed for the train to various china cities, (without solving the custom problem what's the point?)
    The creation of extra traffic for the people traveling from NT to west Kowloon,
    the overestimation of the number of the passengers by the government, this railway is bound to lose money for the decades......


    Let's talk about all these non-political issues.


    Is anyone persuaded?

    No, that's fine, let's agree to disagree,

    Yes, yay! On wait, sorry your voice doesn't count, no matter you agree/not

    government have total control of the legco, she can do whatever she wants.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks, Dan. I can use an extra pair of hands (or lips, rather).

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks Jason. So I am "Linda" in your imaginary family. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Well, Linda is any one of the 28,151 and counting members of the Facebook group "撐起高鐵.撐起香港".

    ReplyDelete
  35. @ Kelvin,

    I think the worst part while our beloved Linda, Peter, Jason and me arguing the bathroom issue, the contractor Donald's just came in the start doing whatever he feel like to do

    ReplyDelete
  36. We know very well that when Donald speaks, he speaks for all of us. And Donald does NOT like all that bickering that is tearing our family apart (and holding up his renovation job). Even a 3-year-old knows that when it comes to family, unity and harmony trump everything else!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Me no eye see! God bless HK!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Haha...Jason.

    To me, the discussion cannot be half the battle won. It is merely discussion, just like the "for" camp cannot persuade the "against" camp to shift their views. Nor the "against" camp can shift my view.

    I guess on this issue, I will be "Linda" all the way then. Let's at least agree on something and it is that! =)

    By the way, have you had another of your "field trip" to the Kowloon side or even the New Territories in 2009? Or you are still happily staying in the Hong Kong Island side and look at the rest of people living in Kowloon and beyond.

    I would like to invite you to take a trip next time by catching the train on a Friday or Saturday to see what it is really like to jam pack like sardine to go to China. The experience may refresh your view on the Express Railway Project. =)

    ReplyDelete
  39. If Linda is as enlightened as the post-80 activists, she would ask two questions:

    1. How come people as incompetent as Peter could be in charge of the layout design?
    2. What POLITICAL system could prevent people like Peter from getting close to the drawing board?

    The correct conclusion is: a wrong POLITICAL system is the source of all problems.

    And that why we all so need this Five Constituencies Resignation thing.

    Kelvin

    ReplyDelete
  40. Interesting point from Phil's earlier comment that didn't seem to be picked up by others:

    "From my view, at first, people oppose to the Project because it is too expensive. Then the arguments shifted to the location of the terminal and the route. Then the argument is that the government did not consult the public long enough. Then, it is the argument of the custom and speed of the train."

    May I add: then every problem is caused by having functional constituencies in legco, which somehow got translated to a guaranteed control of legco by the government (ignoring the fact that the same legco structure said no to Mr. Tung just a few years ago). Now of course we have to change that, so let's support the Five Constituencies Resignation drama and the so called referendum on universal suffrage.

    That's the logic, right? So what happen if the resignation drama doesn't work out as planned? What's next?

    Enough is enough....bring on the resignation and see how it's going to turn out.

    ReplyDelete
  41. If the pan-democrats lose in the re-election, they will of course blame Beijing for a corrupted election, and putting pressure to force people to vote against them. There will be more protests and street parties by the post-80's. The police will be forced to take tougher action, and it will be called Tiananmen Square once again (Jason has already called it that). Seeing that Donald has lost control of the situation, Beijing will have no choice but interfere, and, lo and behold, that's against the one country two system promise. More street protests will follow, and.....who knows what's going to happen next. One thing for certain though - HK will be beyond repair.

    ReplyDelete