Turn on the television, we can’t help but be drawn to the obnoxious filibustering by radical opposition legislators’ tiresome debates and all the bell-ringing in our legislature. Surfing the Internet, we are guided to sensational spats on scandals plaguing our Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and his government officials, estranged by reports over illegal building structures in their residences. An investigation has just been kick-started, however, it is baffling to learn most opposition lawmakers and quite a few unscrupulous media have spared no pains throwing dirt on our government, pitifully unaware of the fact that Hong Kong is ending up with collateral damage in the opposition-directed witch-hunt.
Indisputably, the Chief Executive and his aides should be reprimanded for the gross negligence in their unauthorized building structures. It is quite another thing to accuse them of any lack of integrity, given that there has been, so far, no concrete evidence supporting such a claim. Moreover, considering the draconian rule under which any unreported minor work found in a residence lacking Building Authority approval will be termed as “illegal structures”, many city-dwellers would inevitably be in violation of the law. If the legal principle “everyone is equal before the law” applies, will it do justice to those negligent bureaucrats who have been dogged and grilled for days while setting the majority free, ironically including some of our opposition lawmakers?
As politics is perceived, it is rather idealistic to assume that our government officials, including our Chief Executive, come whiter than white. However, a line of difference has to be observed between meeting the public expectation and being led by populist sentiments. Reasonable as it seems, anyone holding public office is subject to higher moral expectation than merely by abiding by the law. By whipping and flogging our prime officials for trivialities like slips of the tongue, or memory lapses over incidents that happened a decade ago, it does a great disservice to aspiring political talents trying to serve our society. Even worse, the credibility of our government as a whole will be in disrepute.
Coinciding with the inauguration of the new government, heralding the new age – “Change with stability”, the public expects our government to address the long-standing socio-economic issues, such as the living and medical needs of the elderly, the scant housing supply for middle-class families, youngsters’ demands for independent living space and the development of social-enterprises, etc.
Unlike the political hanky-panky employed by the radicals, it is encouraging that our Chief Executive has announced a series of five specific initiatives at a cost of HK$6.3 billion in his maiden LegCo Q&A session this week. Of course, the fresh-baked measures will come as only part of the full remedies for resolving the ills; nevertheless, recognition should be given to our Chief Executive for unwaveringly putting his electoral promises into concrete action.
As the LegCo election is drawing closer, the opposition who always claim to the sole bearers of the public mandate seem to stick to their old tricks of politicization and smear against the establishment. It is not wrong for the opposition to profess noble ideals and bark at wrongdoings by their perceived rivals, but is it what our public expect our opposition lawmakers all the time? Do people really want to see the opposition lock horns with our government over trivial issues as opposition lawmakers bulldoze pillars supporting the lives and dreams of the 7 million HK people?
Ahead lie uncertain times clouded by the economic woes in Europe and US. It is essential for every one of us to carry the spirit of “One Hong Kong, One heart” by which our temporarily-lost unity for the good of Hong Kong is redefined. Instead of mulling over the tabloid reports in politicized and polarized tones, wouldn’t it be more worthwhile if our time were spent putting our ingenious minds together to work for the sustainable long-term development of Hong Kong?
The author is a current affairs commentator.