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OP-ED try out

January 6, 2010

Young Post will soon start its opinion column.

This will be a place for readers to discuss daily issues and share their thoughts. Subjects will cover any news-related issue ranging from the environment to social issues and politics. Think about the subjects explored in Liberal Studies and you will be on the right track.

If you think you have what it takes to become an op-ed writer,  write a comment below of at least 400 words on the controversial high-speed rail link from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, or on any subject you think suitable for an op-ed page.

Don’t forget to include your full name, school and email address for us to get back to you.

To get your head around what an opinion page is, you can read The South China Morning Post’s opinion page. You’ll find it on page A13.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2010 5:22 pm

    The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) has finally passed the hurdle of the Finance Committee of LegCo, albeit with flares from the opposing side, most of which are in their 20s. This group of youngsters, as labelled post-80s, is becoming more vocal in various aspects, especially in recent protests. The government is anxious and seeking effort to resolve their discontent, like providing them with more dance class or graffiti, so that they will have no time to demonstrate. But do these efforts work? What are those youngsters thinking about? Or is there really a group of majority calling out for action?

    When we are disseminating the post-80s, we have to flash back to what is happening in 2005 and 2006, when a group of heritage conservation activists found their way into the construction site of Central-Wanchai bypass to stop the demolition of Star Ferry Pier and Queen’s Pier. These out-of-the-box actions forced the government to take some actions, prominent of which was the Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor attending a forum in Queen’s Pier to answer public’s inquiry face-to-face. With the promise of more civil engagement by the Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen during Policy Address in 2007, there was once a glimmer of hope that the government would be more open to criticisms and innovative ideas. However, the promise is in vain, as the government does not act on further. This is coupled by the changing mentally of citizens, especially post-80s, that economic development is by no means the very first priority in Hong Kong. Instead, they are more concerned about abstract concepts, such as humanity, equality, justice. They discovered that a lot of ‘deep-rooted confrontations’, as suggested by Permier Wan Jia-bao, are caused by the inaction of government to get rid of injustice and unfair political system. This kind of consciousness makes them believe that individuals should stand out to do something, however small an impact. A band group called ‘My Little Airport’ has recently written songs like ‘Donald Tsang, Please die’ or ‘Divvying up Stephen Lam’s $300,000 salary’. This is the reason why the government is at a crossroads, whether to co-opt them to the establishment or suppress them. But one thing for sure: hosting more dance class or graffiti does not work anymore.

    This mentality shift has echoed among more and more people. However, it is still a minority groups. This is why a lot of media tend to report the fair share of supportive and opposing views to the XRL, although the number of people in opposing side outweighs those in supportive side. The government should be more aware of the frequent use of facebook, especially by youngsters, in sharing information and mobilisation. It should promote more bottom-up strategies in policy formulation, like offering a sum of money at district levels and invite citizens to give opinions as to how the spend the money with government officials providing detailed information. In that way citizens will be empowered as they can decide on the use of public fund openly.

    • January 20, 2010 5:34 pm

      Thanks for your submission Lam King Fai. We will get back to you soon.
      Best,
      YP Team

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