According to the official narrative, with no more dastardly pan-dems in LegCo mysteriously forcing the government to push housing prices up, Hong Kong can now finally enjoy better governance. It should be interesting to see how the all-patriots system delivers new improved policies in the coming year or so. For example…
The latest batch of subsidized homes for sale include units as small as 186 sq ft – or 1.5 car parking spaces. Hong Kong can have affordable, decent-sized homes any time the government allows land to be used for residential housing rather than for revenue-raising. Don’t hold your breath.
In an (apparent) state of panic after the death of a pedestrian when an illegally parked car rolled into her, the ever-more malignant Transport Department (apparently) deletes online material about (apparently) previously abandoned pedestrianization plans. Transit Jam reported the deletion earlier; the damning timing is new (apparently). Key words: ‘agitated’ and ‘prickled by criticism’.
(More transport-related misgovernance here – drivers use cycleways to park cars.)
And an artist goes undercover to reveal conditions for outsourced cleaners on minimum wage at the MTR. Maybe labour activists should step in – except they’re in jail and their unions have been closed down.
So much scope for ‘better governance’. More likely, ongoing NatSec horrors (jailings under fake-news laws, extra brainwashing for kindergartens, etc) will distract everyone’s attention from continued failures in basic quality-of-life and livelihood issues.
Some mid-week links…
From SCMP, an interesting – not to say telling – breakdown of the collapse in voter turnout in individual polling stations…
Chi Fu Fa Yuen polling station in Pok Fu Lam recorded a decline of 43 percentage points, down from 2016’s 70 per cent to 27 per cent…
[At] Tai Koo Shing Post Office, only 1,049 voters cast their ballots on Sunday, down by 69 per cent from 2016’s 3,333.
…turnout at the polling station in Lai Chi Kok Community Hall, which covers four major middle-class residences including Liberte and the Pacifica, also dropped from 66 per cent to 28 per cent, marking a decline of 38 percentage points.
A nice succinct thread by Michael Pettis on China’s overvalued housing…
…the price of real estate in China is probably 2-3 times higher than what can be economically justified, which implies that there is RMB 200-230 trillion of fictitious wealth collateralizing loans and propping up spending.
Business Insider on how the latest in the Peng Shui saga follows Beijing’s celebrity-disappearance playbook.
Linking to Teen Vogue is no biggy, but how about Sports Illustrated? Why did the WTA risk everything for Peng Shuai?
More on sport: for at least ten thousand years, humans have crafted footwear to make their lives better. A Hongkonger decides they were wrong.
CMP on Beijing’s new restrictions on online vids…
There is no room for latitude or a sense of humor in the CNSA rules.
Amazon deletes reviews of Xi Jinping’s fab book.
George Magnus on the disappearance of Chinese companies from the global top 10 market-cap chart.
For nostalgia buffs, a glowing documentary (in Mandarin) on the prosperous modern ‘high-tech’ Republic of China in the mid-70s, at the height of Taiwan’s grimy, polluted sweatshop-era glory. (Basically about infrastructure and industry – no food or people. Aviation fans can jump to 23.10.)