Time after time over the last six months, the Hong Kong government has had a choice between making things better or worse – and consistently chosen the latter course. We all know the administration is incompetent and cut-off. It is also, of course, controlled by a higher power. As it says here, officials…
…know what ought to be done but they are not allowed to do it. It is perhaps a tribute to the care and caution which goes into the selection process that the entire team seems to be willing to go on working, or pretending to work, on this basis.
An intriguing question: have they been press-ganged, blackmailed, or lobotomized? You be the judge…
Predictably, Carrie Lam’s Policy Address is another missed opportunity to gain a few shreds of public respect. But it is so inept as to surprise even hardened cynics. It almost looks as if someone is deliberately trying to make the administration as hated as possible.
Among the usual array of one-off hand-outs are several subsidies for the small wealthy segment of the population who own cars (electric charging points for private housing estates, and tunnel-fee waivers) and housing measures that look designed to push prices up. These look like Carrie told civil servants to find ways to win over the middle class – if only by ‘making it easier to buy homes they cannot afford’.
(It is impossible to work out what Hong Kong’s counter-cyclical/pro-cyclical/making-it-up-as-we-go-cyclical housing policies are really trying to achieve. In fairness, it is not only officials who are irrational. What on earth would possess anyone of sound mind and non-billionaire net worth to buy a plain Hong Kong apartment at a time like this at prices like these? Can these people really not think of a single more-economical/better-value/less-imprudent way to use wealth?)
Beijing is setting Carrie up as a scapegoat when the time comes to rearrange the local de-facto power structure. In the finest tradition of the CCP stabbing its loyalists in the back when they are no longer needed, Beijing will (we can guess) engineer her resignation for ‘health reasons’ and simultaneously leak smears about her atrocious performance. It could even be that the Chinese government’s local approval ratings bounce up when it happens. As a reminder of how the CCP prepares the ground before moving in – and as another pro-democracy activist is attacked – here’s a quick intro to the Beijing-gangster coalition.
I think it’s more likely that they force us to endure Carrie Lam until the end of her term. Not out of any love for Lam, I just don’t think their egos could tolerate another premature resignation. In a way, saddling us with these shambling nonentities speaks to their contempt for Hong Kong.
When the focus on housing issues is undermined by failure to implement the long overdue separation of Transport and Housing where is the Policy?
This was nothing more than a mini budget.
Re the $2b on charging stations for private residential buildings, this actually undermines our transport policy of encouraging folk to use public transport. There are far too many vehicles on our streets already, in fact the electric element encourages smug driver to hog parking spaces for hours on the excuse that they are not polluting while forcing goods vehicles to double park to offload.
Too true… I honestly thought the whole “electric vehicle toll waiver plus the $2 billion in charging stations at private residences” was a joke when I read about it on SCMP.com a few hours before the speech was delivered. My guess is that they thought such a saccharine policy would score easy points by making a token nod at environmentalism. Electric cars are the way of the future, after all, and don’t even discharge carbon dioxide or other harmful gases–how forward thinking of them!
And speaking of poorly thought out policies with exacerbate the ills they are supposed to cure…
The slackening of mortage requirements will serve as great fuel for home prices to continue their stratospheric rise. So much for “housing prices are the root of all discontent” that the pro-Beijing types have been spouting all this time. Even before the close of the market yesterday, the property developers’ stocks rose a good 3-5%. Carrie Lam comes through for the big guys yet again!
Yeah…audacity has been the hallmark of “governing” bodies since before Tacitus was a twinkle in his great, great, great, great, great grand-daddy’s eye 😉
While it’s tempting to see stuff like the electric vehicle charging subsidy in light of the epic shitshow of catastrophic governance, I think it’s really just a sign that the civil service has been plugging away at their small-bore, incremental programmes as usual. A few escalators here, some tighter emission standards there. It’s filtered up through the bureaucracy and gets inserted into the policy address, department by department. In the absence of any big ideas from the top, small bore is all there is, so it gets interpreted as Carrie Lam’s will. But it isn’t. It’s a sign of Hong Kong’s government running on autopilot.
When chatting with and about, the neighbours, is it ever wise to use the phrases “totally unacceptable” and “irresponsible”?
Basically it is a rant. Nothing measured at all. Poor English and worse “reasoning”.
Sorry. My above comment is directed to the link posted by “old git”, namely an announcement made by the supposed HKSAR “government”.