[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: Hong Kong 10 years on...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hong Kong 10 years on...

No sorry I'm not going to give you any spiel on the upcoming 10th anniversary of the handover, because all media branches have been inundated with their own series on the event.
But I'll tell you how the mainstream media has been bombarding us with theirs instead, since all seem to be clamoring to make the most sensational and securing interviews with the top brass.
TVB's Pearl Report so far is the most comprehensive - a six-part series focusing on main issues like politics, economy and overseas Hongkongers.
My ex-colleagues at ATV News have been their little short stories with the usual crowd of popular opinion makers, while Newsline has done the same. This Sunday's episode will feature HK's most famous Canadian Allan Zeman, and he seems to be the first one to *not* say Hong Kong should have democracy, much to the chagrin of host Chugani, who keeps saying what we have now is not real democracy. Actually Zeman does make a good point about democracy not being a panacea to Hong Kong's problems, but rather we should obey China, throw out fantasies of American style democracy and work to better the lives of ordinary Hongkongers. He better hopes he doesn't run into Longhair in a dark alleyway.
Both him and Liberal Party's James Tien expressed their concerns on the declining level of English, one which is cutting wounds into the city's international and competitive edge.
One may think it's just a bunch of expats and relics of the colonial era who would say this, but in the bigger picture, if Hong Kong doesn't want to end up like another inefficient Chinese city, the education system had better start shaking things up to improve students' English. I just feel that being able to speak English, even at a basic level, propels Hong Kong's image of internationalism even further. This is a great way to attract foreign talent, not just from the West, but other Asians who don't speak Chinese. It also makes it more appealing culturally in terms of bringing visiting tourists, artists, musicians, performers etc.
TIME Magazine based their international issue on the handover last week, with some in-depth articles including one on how the expatriate populations is becoming more globalised.
And yes the SCMP of course has been following suit, our podcasts have featured heavyweights Anson Chan, Martin Lee, Tung Chee-hwa and Chris Patten, as well as people from the entertainment and arts world with their take on a decade later.
Overall I would say the sentiment has been positive, except for some who still yearn for full democracy. Anyway, I'm just glad the media spectacle is almost over.
See you on the streets.