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Showing posts from June, 2010

And Then There Were Thirteen 剩下的十三個

After months of jeers and cheers, gaffes and laughs, even a mock referendum and a televised debate, the government’s 2012 Reform Package was passed by a wide margin this Friday. 
Less than two weeks before the bill was put to a vote, with time running out and Beijing breathing down his neck, Donald Tsang cobbled a feeble campaign together to promote what he touted as the only way to break the legislative impasse and to pave the way to universal suffrage. 
But the snake oil salesman failed to impress and Tsang was all but ready to accept defeat, just as he did five years ago when the pan-democrats vetoed a similar bill. Then suddenly, the storm calmed and the sky cleared: the biggest opposition party came to the chief executive’s rescue and handed him the seven votes he needed to close the deal. The rest, as they say, is history.

Before we begin talking about the reform package, you need to understand a few of things about our wacky political system. The Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-co…

Paradise of the Blind 瞎子的樂園

Not long ago I asked a friend of mine what he thought about Vietnam. 
Lee, a Taiwanese living in Hong Kong, travels there frequently for business. “The country is not much to look at,” Lee shrugged, “except for their beef noodle soups and mail-order brides.” 
Indeed, there is a perception in the wealthier parts of Asia that, with all the human trafficking going on in the country, you can order Vietnamese girls online or even bid for them on eBay. 
My friend’s candid response left me with a frozen smile and a broken heart. That’s when I decided to write an article for all the Lees out there, not to change their minds but to open them to a beautiful country with an ugly past.

I visit Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s twin metropolises, a few times a year for work. Few in Hong Kong know or care much about Vietnam... _______________________ Read the rest of this essay in HONG KONG State of Mind, available at major bookstores in Hong Kong and at Blacksmith Books.