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Legislator Junius Ho

2020-02-09
Dear Jenny,

It has been a while since we last got in touch.  As you may have been aware, 2019 has been quite the rollercoaster year. 

Round the world chaos

2019 was a year where Brexit continued to dominate European headlines with its drawn-out battle to settle terms of arrangement post formal Brexit and the replacement of former Prime Minister Teresa May with Boris Johnson. It was a year brimmed with protests around the world, from India and Hong Kong to France, Catalonia and Chile. It was a year where the United States' House of Representatives voted to impeach their President, Donald Trump, on the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.  It was also a year where the bushes and forests of Australia and Amazon burned.

Moving closer to home, in China, we had to deal with challenges brought about from the China-US tit-for-tat trade war. Both countries imposing tariff after tariff on one another’s goods, deadlocked in a perpetual zero-sum game and the guaranteed mutual destruction of each other's economy.  The trade war escalated for months, with negotiations reaching a stalemate and the Chinese government resisting against the unreasonable demands of the US until a breakthrough in December. Thankfully, both countries recognised that a deal was better than no deal, with President Trump recognising the need to achieve some political achievement to bring voters into the fold so that he could win another four years. Thereafter, Vice Premier Liú Hè flew to Washington and reached a deal that led to the signing of a Phase I Agreement in January 2020.

Hong Kong protests saga 

As for Hong Kong, as I’m sure you have heard, was plunged into chaos for the past 8 months. Even though the proposed amendment to the current Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance was intended to benefit residents of Hong Kong, it, however, attracted serious public backlash. The Bill sparked a series of violent events and has presented a serious challenge to Carrie Lam's leadership. But that is not the end of it.

Coronavirus

With the arrival of a new decade, one might have thought that the year 2020 would bring good luck and new opportunities for Hong Kong to mend its wounds. Just when we thought things could not get worse, our beloved city was hit by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), also known as the Wuhan Pneumonia. The number of confirmed cases soared from the hundreds to the thousands, notwithstanding the 400 fatalities worldwide. As of now, Hong Kong has 17 confirmed cases, including one fatality.  Though this number may be small in comparison to the 20,000 cases globally, we should not underestimate this figure for we have many months to come before the infection rate finally plateaus.

Hong Kong is connected to China, and our fates are closely intertwined.  We cannot afford to think of issues pertaining to China or Hong Kong independently of each other.  With Hong Kong and China under the limelight for its handling of the protests, the attention of the international community was quickly transformed into how well Hong Kong and China are going to handle the containment of the coronavirus outbreak.

China’s swift response to containing the outbreak, such as the placing of approximately 11 million people in Wuhan City on lockdown was not an easy task any government can achieve. The fact that President Xi managed to accomplish this with such a high degree of efficiency can be boiled down his professionalism and decision-making.  I think Hong Kong has ways to go to catch up with that level of effectiveness, and she should pick up her pace before she lags further away from China.

Enough is enough.

Hong Kong has been disturbed by unusual political turmoil, which is still unfortunately ongoing. Now Hong Kong is self-inflicting further harm by yet another internal conflict. It is shameful on the part of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance Union to call for industrial action. They are in effect holding public health and needy patients at ransom and putting the well-being of all Hong Kong residents in jeopardy. Shame on them for bringing politics into this. At this rate, it will be no surprise that we kill ourselves before the disease does. 

Concluding remarks


Jenny, you are lucky to be residing in Canada. Hong Kong is a little wonder of 1,106 km² stretches of land, yet it shelters 7 million people. We are the freest economic zone with a stellar reputation as an international financial hub. Hong Kong can achieve this due to the full cooperation of hardworking, dedicated and law-abiding residents. Since when have all these qualities gone to moot? Since when have we allowed criminals to destroy our city without any repercussion?

With that, I quote Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities :-

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”

Let’s hope that 2020 will be the best of times and the age of wisdom and that we can leave the year 2019 behind along with its foolishness and naivety. 

Yours Sincerely,
Junius Ho

Letter To Hong Kong

                                                               
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