The theme park horror of Hong Kong
Updated: Feb 3
Forget Valentine's Day and Christmas, forget Chinese New Year. You can even forget Halloween since the real house of horror these days is real life Hong Kong! Who needs an online game to challenge our wits, I ask?
The first horror to spook the bejesus out of everyone is the Covid-19 pandemic. You might suddenly find your housing block besieged in one of the Chief Executive's otherwise unnanounced lockdowns. Or, when feeling sick and voluntarily going for a COVID test, face repeated incompetence of healthcare workers resulting in all 5 family members having inaccurate results! Or, even facing CCP's latest humiliation in China, an anal COVID-19 test! And if you agree to be vaccinated it seems the HK government will give you no choice of your preferred vaccine; which means most likely you will be given an inferior low efficacy Chinese vaccine which has no publicly released third trial data nor has been reviewed by professionals! With those jabs you'll end up feeling like either a pin cushion or a guinea pig.
Then you might find yourself awake at night, anxious about the state of the state coffers. The public purse is being pilfered at such an alarming rate you ought to be concerned whether will there be any money left for your kids, or the next 'rainy day' emergency that calls for those back up funds! As you keep reading you'll find out that the government has gone bonkers with its decision to offer even more financial handouts to the Ocean Park complex. It has found it necessary to financially prop up the zombie Cathay Pacific Airline, and amidst the current pandemic and nose-diving tourism its continued operation is inexplicable. There have already been staff cutbacks, route cuts, share price falls, and the financial woes aren't going away any time soon. It's the living dead!
Counting money is one thing, but what about reckoning for other crimes and misdemeanours? Police get off too lightly when they break the law, and those in positions of authority are never held accountable for their lax performance. There really was no valid reason why couldn't we have our LegCo election in September 2020 to replace the Bent Rulers in the Executive Council. The whole LegCo thing has been a horror hasn't it?
You're already in the ranks of those tough Hong Kongers suffering depression. Perhaps what's brought this on is all the political shenanigans, the power struggles: the threat of arbitrary arrest for your involvement in pro-democracy protests, the long hours you work, the threat of being forced to choose between a life in familiar HK or a life in some foreign land. It could also be that these days you spend too much time in a cramped shoe-box size apartment that is more like living in a chicken coup! (And we all know that In HK the Fox is in charge of the chickens!) There's a whole lot that could be said about the city's poor urban planning and the built environment that is seldom people-friendly.
These days in HK it's no surprise that you can't trust the Police, or even the Department of Justice, but surely you should be able to trust your bank with your money? Not in the case of the HSBC apparently who locks up accounts willy-nilly! I hear other banks may be opening up their accounts to the prying eyes of HK Police investigators targeting pro-democracy people.
There are so many horrors in the HK education sector, it deserves a whole theme park of its own! To begin with there is the strange arrangement in which the CE herself lords over all Hong Kong public funded Universities as their head! She has always had an issue about the "separation of power"! Many of the best universities in the city have seen their global rankings fall in recent years. There have been crises about their leadership especially since the 2019 protests, recent firings and concerns about academic freedom amidst the new National Security Law.
Primary and Secondary schools feature in the mix too! Teachers now have more pressures to contend with than ever, and the Education Bureau has become more an enemy than a supportive employer. Anyone can make an unfounded complaint against a teacher, and the bureau, despite its own rules and regulations, seems to now act as judge, jury and executioner! Schools and teachers are being cautioned, rebuked, and sent official censure letters. Some teachers have lost their registration and find their careers in tatters.
The intelligence, professionalism, dedication and experience of teachers like those preparing final examinations for the HKDSE History examinations is no longer respected.
We have hardly scratched the surface of what CCP is doing to children in HK as part of its grand plan of assimilation.
The newest horror engineered for entertainment in HK is the arrival of a new political party on the scene that threatens to make even the like of the DAB redundant in the HK political scene - replacing the HK government and CE Lam with another team of CCP mainland-bred lapdogs. Forget about the threat of 'wolf-warriors' - they are just barking looneys that repeat CCP propaganda. No, when all legislators are selected and put in place by CCP what hope will there be for HK the way that HK people envisage it? The screams will certainly be louder and travel further than those ever head on an Ocean Park roller-coaster ride.
OCEAN PARK SAGA
Ocean Park Needs Rescuing, Not Refurbishing, Admits Hong Kong Government (Variety, 11 May 2020)
Hong Kong's Ocean Park faces bankruptcy as pandemic takes its toll (CGTN, 13 May 2020)
Hong Kong’s troubled Ocean Park saved as lawmakers approve HK$5.4 billion relief fund (SCMP, 29 May 2020)
Policy Address 2020: Southern Hong Kong Island to become arts and tourism hub, as Ocean Park acquires Jumbo Restaurant (HKFP, 25 November, 2020)
Hong Kong Mulls HK$3 Billion Rescue for Struggling No. 2 Theme Park (Caixin, 19 January 2021)
Hong Kong trade pours cold water on debt-ridden Ocean Park’s planned resort makeover (TTGAsia, 25 January 2021)
Ocean Park could see a profit by 2024: govt (RTHK, 30 January 2021)
Face Off: should the government give up on Hong Kong Disneyland? (YoungPost/SCMP, 6 March 2018)
Disney says Hong Kong protests could wipe out $275 million in theme park profit (CNN Business, 8 November 2019)
Hong Kong Disneyland will close again after a surge in coronavirus cases (CNN Business, 13 July 2020)
Disney theme parks struggle with reopening as Hong Kong Disney and Disneyland Paris remain closed, (CNET, 12 January 2021)
Please read our blogs on related Hong Kong Horrors:
And a few related reads we think are worthy of your time:
Hong Kong: Depression and Suicide at an All-Time High, (Breaking Asia, 30 March 2019)
COVID-19 related health inequality exists even in a city where disease incidence is relatively low: a telephone survey in Hong Kong (BMJ, 2020)
Hong Kong police raid church hours after pastor said HSBC froze accounts (The Guardian, 8 December 2020)
CCP please answer the following UN letters sent to you:
screams of horror
and a few chuckles
from Jeremiah B.
P.S. Don't let this blog impact your decision to stay in HK or take up the UK's B.N.O. citizenship offer. Yes, things are a horror in the city. As my antipodean friends say : "Carrie Lam couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery!". However, no government or country is without its flaws.
There are good things in the show grounds too, and don't forget that life is an adventure. We can always find some other entertainment if we so choose.
Strength comes from honesty and owning up to the truth. We'll hit rock bottom soon and things WILL get better. Or as Benny Tai put it....this is all part of the suffering we must weather.
Referring to the political suppression in HK, Benny Tai told media a couple of weeks ago, “Hong Kong has entered a chilly winter. The wind is blowing strong and cold, but I believe there are still many Hong Kongers who will use their own ways to continue walking against the wind.” (WorldWatch, 12 January 2021)