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Hong Kong's dilemma

In the 10 years leading up to the handover of Hong Kong, European officials and their Chinese counterparts spent thousands of hours crafting the final agreement with a view to protecting the lifestyle of the "average" Hong Kong resident in the new Special Administrative Region.

In those days I was a member of the colonial government with a staff numbering hundreds of Chinese personnel. Many of them had worries over what the future held for them and their families, but they were reassured that the Chinese government had agreed to the conditions of the handover and would maintain the status quo, giving Hong Kong residents some say in who governed them, via elections.

Their mindset quickly changed when a new governor was appointed by Britain, one Christopher Patton, who after 150 years of colonial rule suddenly started to speak of democracy! Why at that point in time this man raised this issue was beyond belief to anyone who knew the Hong Kong psyche.

My second language is Cantonese, so from that point on I became aware of a growing disquiet among those I worked with. This flame was fanned by liberal lunatics until the term "democracy" became "want-ocracy". The Chinese government was not amused and you cannot blame it. I am no lover of communist China, having been on the streets during the so-called Cultural Revolution, but more often than not, agreements such as these tend to meet the real needs of stakeholders.

The average Hong Kong resident has the freedom to move about and a job to go to, while children are well fed and education levels are excellent. Medical care is more than adequate. More to the point, I know of not one person who has suffered at the hands of the authorities. So, you may ask, why make waves? Because the bleeding-heart liberal minority poisons the well - that's why.

"I want it and I will cry until I get it!" is the mantra.

The same call seems to be ringing here in Thailand, too.

Kong Wai

Hua Hin


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