HK residents to re-learn facial recognition

So that’s what those people look like! For the first time since July 29, 2020, you can legally go mask-free outdoors in Hong Kong. It remains illegal to wear a mask (under certain circumstances), with the Chief Executive explaining…

“The mask mandate was for public health matters. As for the mask ban, we will review it at a suitable time. At this moment, we will not handle it.”

Some quotes from the public here

Another woman told RTHK that it’s time for her to “take out all her lipsticks”.

But … [a] student surnamed So said she will keep wearing a mask as she doesn’t want to let others see her, concerns shared by a woman surnamed Chung who said she was “a bit scared”.

Despite months of criticism from citizens and experts, the deciding factor seems to have been Macau’s decision to scrap its mask mandate just a week ago.

Did anyone ever work out why Health Secretary Lo Chung-mau was so obsessed with keeping the mask mandate?

Pretty damning chart showing how Singapore has leapt ahead of Hong Kong in per-capita GDP. There’s a clear post-Covid spurt in Singapore, which obviously Hong Kong has not had. But the gap has been growing ever since the Asian Financial Crisis, which broke out at exactly the time of the 1997 handover – the Thai Baht plunging on Tung Chee-hwa’s very first day in office. 

You could spend all day pondering possible reasons. Most immigrants into Hong Kong in the last 25 years have been relatively unskilled Mainlanders who became permanent residents, while Singapore attracted a broader range of newcomers, including guest workers to keep its manufacturing sector competitive. Hong Kong’s policymakers focused on pushing housing prices up – distorting the economy in various ways – while Singapore prioritized affordable homes. Hong Kong splurged on massive white-elephant infrastructure projects, which Singapore didn’t. It’s not that Hong Kong’s performance has been bad – but proximity to the fast-growing Mainland economy in the 2000s should have given the city a bigger relative advantage. Instead, Hong Kong failed to maintain the 1980-97 trend growth rate. Ultimately, it must come down to governance.

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9 Responses to HK residents to re-learn facial recognition

  1. MeKnowNothing says:

    The blank image/link to the aural portion of BL posts I commented on the other day I now suspect is related to how ever since about a week ago, after loading the BL webpage, my browser then goes to fetch something from two Shitter servers – and then reloads the BL webpage again. So once again, my name is proved – though something _has_ changed & _not_ on the client-side. It’s most annoying, as the effect is that as soon as one scrolls the browser down to read the rest of the day’s post, reloading of the page effectively scrolls you back to the top of the page. Over & over & over & over ad infinitum. Grrrrr.

  2. Low Profile says:

    About 90% of Hongkongers are still wearing masks on public transport this morning.

  3. Chris Maden says:


  4. Chinese Netizen says:

    Is that what you call Hong Kong having? “Governance”??

  5. Mary Melville says:

    Did anyone ever work out why Health Secretary Lo Chung-mau was so obsessed with keeping the mask mandate?
    Easy, payback for many in the community mocking him for feigning a faint when students stormed a HKU council meeting back in July 2015. He was described as
    ‘diving like a cheating soccer player’.
    The impact of the public derision on a man used to being lauded was certainly considerable.

  6. Ann says:

    “But … [a] student surnamed So said she will keep wearing a mask as she doesn’t want to let others see her,”

    This attitude is not just sad, but very concerning. And one imagines that HK government/authorities are fairly oblivious to the impact of these long-term mask mandates on people’s mental health, particularly the young, including little kids – not to mention their language-learning and interaction skills.

  7. Knownot says:

    “HK residents to re-learn facial recognition”
    But it’s surprising how much can be learnt from the hair, the forehead and the eyes.

  8. Reactor420 says:


    Put that girl on suicide watch, cause that’s a depressed thing to say and think.


    Masks shed, faces bloom
    Freedom from viral confines
    Hong Kong’s hope renews

    ChatGPT got some skills!

  9. Low Profile says:

    @Reactor 420 – “ChatGPT got some skills”, sure, but accuracy is not one of them. Two days ago it told me that Arthur Ransome’s wife Ivy loved sailing, smoked a pipe, and accompanied him on his adventures. That was actually his second wife Evgenia – Ivy was the first wife he divorced.

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