HK bureaucracy hits peak Belt and Road

You can always tell when a hyped-up fad has jumped the shark and started to plunge into inevitable oblivion: the Hong Kong government establishes a mega-bureaucracy with responsibility for it.

Accidentally perusing the classified ads on Saturday, I spotted a ‘help wanted’ notice from the Ministry of Managing Market-based Wealth-creation, who want a ‘Commissioner for Belt and Road’…

I choked up a snarky Tweet. Meanwhile, sleuth-reporters went digging and found that the salary for this position is HK$260,600 a month. This is, I think – on calm reflection – the least any sentient and self-respecting human could realistically accept for having such a humiliating job title on their business card.

Checking back, it seems that a position of this sort was originally created by Chief Executive CY Leung, who went through a hyperactive-obsessive frenzy of ‘Belt and Road’ mania at one stage. The post was presumably instant symbolism for shoe-shining purposes, and went to a retired civil servant – who was not remunerated.

With ‘Belt and Road’ acquiring a bad name internationally as a neo-imperialist debt-trap diplomacy and vassal-state-formation resources-grab, the Hong Kong government thought the time right to ask the Legislative Council to approve a more-permanent position with the aforementioned modest salary (plus housing, plus ‘leave passage allowance’, punkah-wallah, etc) earlier this year. The proposal included assorted trimmings like a civil servant sidekick on HK$190,000+, and another one on HK$160,000+, and no doubt an array of flunkies. The aim was to ‘take forward’ stuff ‘effectively and on a sustained basis’.

This recruitment website classifies the job as ‘program development’ and ‘marketing/PR/communications’ with a straight face. The government ad-blurb explains that the mission is to ‘formulate’, ‘promote’ and ‘enhance’ various things with regard to ‘platforms’ and ‘stakeholders’. There is no mention of what the taxpayer can expect in return for their money (‘deliverables’, in the jargon).

In terms of qualifications, applicants must have endless years of ‘administrative experience’. This is Hong Kong-speak for a former civil servant with a track-record of zero ideas or imagination, who is in need of a sinecure, however depressingly futile.

Meanwhile, in the bowels of the bureaucracy, plans are being drawn up for ‘Commissioner for Greater Bay Area Tech Opportunities Hub-Zone Positive Energy (Blockchain)’.


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5 Responses to HK bureaucracy hits peak Belt and Road

  1. Stanley Lieber says:

    Another far-ranging comprehensive international worldwide global recruitment search that will end up with a guy living in a two-bedroom flat in Kowloon Tong.

  2. Knownot says:

    I dreamed I heard a fiery speech
    By Marshal Andy Chan,
    Rebel leader, high commander,
    Hong Kong’s dangerous man.
    The nation shakes, and deeply hurt
    The Chinese people feel.
    But in the light of dawn, I see
    It isn’t real.

    I dreamed I saw a mighty bridge
    Across the river bay
    With streams of eager cars and lorries
    Flowing every day.
    Some are trading, some exporting,
    Others go to bet.
    But then I wake and see, alas,
    It isn’t open yet.

    I dreamed I saw an express railway
    Hong Kong – China bound
    With hosts of eager passengers
    Whizzing underground.
    But in the dawn, the builders come
    And hesitantly speak:
    The railway isn’t running yet;
    The tunnels leak.

    I dreamed I saw across the map
    A supple belt and road
    Where dams and roads and factories
    And power and friendship flowed.
    But in the dawn I look anew
    And all the glories seem
    To be a trick, a bait-and-hook,
    Or just a dream.

  3. Joe Blow says:

    I bet $ 100- that Christine Loh is polishing her resume right now as we speak.

  4. Mjrelje says:

    I do not know what to say
    a Superb poem
    Know not that the other day,
    This Knownot, the best, today.

  5. reductio says:

    @Joe Blow

    Exactly so. I saw her “get-on’yer-bike” article in today’s SCMP. And I noticed that she, while excoriating HKers for not wishing to be part of the the Belt and Road vision, Bay Area Elysium fields, booming BRICS super group, is safely ensconced in Hong Kong, pulling in the $$$ as some Professor of Strategic Vision or something. P*** off.

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