RTHK's English-language current affairs programme that takes "The Pulse" of Hong Kong ... and the world around it.
Last Friday, in response to a legal action brought by then Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen, the High Court disqualified four pro-democracy legislators for the way they took their oaths of office. This with the earlier disqualifications of Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, effectively invalidates some 180,000 public votes for pro-democratic politicians.
According to a report released by the Census and Statistics Department last month, the richest households in Hong Kong now earn around 44 times more than the poorest. The gap between the rich and poor is at a historic high. Hong Kong’s home to 1.16 million elderly, 2.6% more than five years ago. Almost a third are classified as poor elderly. Although they receive a small government payment of so-called “fruit money”, they find it hard to survive. Meanwhile, Chief executive Carrie Lam said, “subdivided flats” is just to be regarded as a general term. After all, not all of them are illegal or contravening fire safety and building regulations. Ms Lam’s Transport and Housing minister Frank Chan is even suggesting the government get in on the act by building and renting more of them as a temporary solution to our housing problem. If it’s hard for young working people to keep a roof over their head, spare a thought for Hong Kong’s elderly, a third of whom officially live in poverty. Some try to do a little manual work to survive, but a sometimes-hostile government bureaucracy only adds to their problems. For a society that claims to respect its elders, Hong Kong is not necessarily doing so well.
It’s just over a week since the death of Nobel laureate and activist Liu Xiaobo. His body was cremated just three days later, his ashes scattered in the sea. The government says his wife Liu Xia and his friends are free to move as they wish, but it's understood they are being kept incommunicado. News of his death, and responses to it, is highly censored across the mainland. The aim of scattering the ashes at sea was likely to avoid creating any site for his supporters to gather in tribute. It may have backfired. The sea makes up two thirds of the world’s surface, and people in China and elsewhere are turning there to pay their respects. We’ll leave you for this week with images of the commemoration in Hong Kong and Liu’s friends in Beijing.