What would you do in her shoes? 你在她的鞋子裡做什麼？
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
(Please scroll down for Chinese translation 繁体中文请往下滑).
After the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, announced this week that wearing a face mask when protesting was to become illegal, she and her cadres called for citizens to disassociate themselves from protesters.
This seems at odds to Ms Lam’s ongoing attempts to stabilise the SAR, to bring harmony and increase dialogue with Hong Kongers. It’s a fact that Ms Lam has been trying to reconcile factions in Hong Kong ever since she came to office. It hardly seems reasonable to tell adults who they should or should not be friends with. Perhaps Ms Lam has taken a leaf from her Beijing masters, since on more than one occasion the Central Chinese government or its proxies have exercised sway over the political, commercial and business interests of others such as in Australia, or Congo and on the internet.
In a pointless attempt to remain ‘neutral’ a shoe company running a design competition pulled a highly popular entry deemed to be ‘too political’. It’s unfortunate that some businesses in Hong Kong have incurred the wrath of protesters lately, for taking a stand against the pro-democracy social movement. It has to be noted, however that some parties have been more adept at taking a middle path. One of the richest property moguls in Hong Kong, Li Ka Shing, for example, placed a fairly ambivalent full page advert in the South China Morning Post suggesting less violent protest action would win hearts. More recently, his charitable foundation announced a magnanimous donation of a billion dollars to support SMEs in need of financial assistance during the current crisis.
Unity is important for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. It is also important for Hong Kong people going forward. This makes it all the more important for Ms Lam to adopt a political solution rather than persisting with the destructive “divide and conquer” approach. Though she might be bereft of ideas, she needs to look beyond the advisors who keep steering her in the wrong direction.