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Showing posts from May, 2010

Rebels With a Cause 阿飛正傳

Two Sundays ago on May 16, I drove 30 minutes to my designated polling station at a high school tucked away on the far end of Guildford Road. In the quiet auditorium, the station manager handed me a ballot and a marker, before a uniformed volunteer ushered me to the voting booth. My footsteps squeaked noisily on the shiny floorboards and echoed through the hollow space. I was the only voter in the room. This cannot be good, I said to myself as I stamped a checkmark next to Tanya Chan’s (陳淑莊) name.

Earlier this year, five opposition lawmakers from the hawkish League of Social Democrats (LSD 社民連) and the white-shoed Civic Party (公民黨) resigned to trigger by-elections they hoped to turn into a referendum on universal suffrage. The political campaign was ingenious in its originality and deviance. Thrown in a few manga posters and radical slogans, the lawmakers-cum-rebels stirred up a smoldering cauldron of social discontent that promised to plunge the administration into a constitutional …

Pink Elephants on Our Streets 馬路上的大象

On any given day at any given time, from Kennedy Town to Chai Wan, Tuen Mun to Shatin, close your eyes and all you will hear are the roaring diesel engines of our double-decker buses. Hong Kong joins Britain, Russia, Singapore and Sri Lanka in the exclusive club of insane countries that still let these urban dinosaurs roam their streets. 
With its narrow roads, hilly topography and gridlocked traffic, Hong Kong is about the least qualified place on Earth to have two-story vehicles running around town. No matter which way you look at it, our double-deckers are out of place, out of scale and, at a time when carbon footprint is on everyone’s lips, grossly out of style.

Public buses are the biggest polluters on our streets and they hit us on multiple fronts: air pollution, thermal pollution and noise pollution... _______________________ Read the rest of this essay in HONG KONG State of Mind, available at major bookstores in Hong Kong and at Blacksmith Books.