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RTHK's English-language current affairs programme that takes "The Pulse" of Hong Kong ... and the world around it.

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    監製:Diana Wan


    RTHK's English-language current affairs programme that takes "The Pulse" of Hong Kong ... and the world around it.

    "The Pulse" is presented by locally and internationally known journalist and writer Steve Vines.

    Its focus? The latest events and trends that affect Hong Kong - from the corridors of power and business boardrooms, to the streets and dai pai dongs.

    "The Pulse" is politics. What's happening in the Legislative Council and on the streets right now.

    "The Pulse" is the media, informing us how well or badly our press and broadcast organisations diagnose and reflect the society around us.

    "The Pulse" is insightful, in-depth reports and interviews on current issues - examining those issues in depth, looking behind and beyond the news.

    Its focus is on the timely. The Now.

    Keep your eye ... and your finger ... on "The Pulse".

    If you want to discuss anything you've seen in "The Pulse", or anything in the public eye right now, or just to talk about the show, why not join in the debate on our Facebook page, RTHK's The Pulse. 

    The programme is aired every Saturday on RTHK 31 & 31A at 18:00, and a repeat on Sundays at 06:30.

    Archive available later after broadcast. ** Please note that the programme air-time on TV is different with webcast time.



    Find us on Facebook: RTHK's The Pulse

    最新

    LATEST
    21/10/2017

    Regular meetings of the Legislative Council have now resumed, but the new legislative session didn’t get off to a good start. Just one day after it began, meetings were adjourned when pro-democrats made 11 quorum calls. Now that the government has managed to disqualify six elected pro-democracy legislators, the pro-government camp believe they have the upper hand and want to amend Legco’s rules of procedure to limit debates and questioning of officials. The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Chan Kin-por, is even taking steps to restrict debating time over government funding requests.

    Last week, we spoke to Chief Executive Carrie Lam about her first Policy Address. Land and housing were major priorities. Now with me in the studio to further discuss these ever controversial matters is the Undersecretary for Transport and Housing, Raymond So.

    Those expecting news of more affordable housing in last week’s Policy Address will have been very disappointed. However there were some new measures such as an increased supply of Subsidised Home Ownership units providing “Starter Homes” for middle-class families. Plus there are plans for “Light Housing” projects in idle government premises, some transitional housing and even the opportunity to live in shipping containers. Ms Lam says she wants to focus on home-ownership, yet many people can only dream of taking that first step on the housing ladder.

    Meanwhile more than 2,000 delegates from all over China are sitting in Beijing attending the 19th Chinese Communist Party congress, which will lay out new policies for the coming five years and looks to cement President Xi Jinping’s position. We’ll leave you with images of that. See you next week.

    重溫

    CATCHUP
    06 - 10
    2017
    RTHK 31
    • Legco's Rules of Procedure, Raymond So Undersec for Transport & Housing, HK's housing problem

      Legco's Rules of Procedure, Raymond So Undersec for Transport & Housing, HK's housing problem

      Regular meetings of the Legislative Council have now resumed, but the new legislative session didn’t get off to a good start. Just one day after it began, meetings were adjourned when pro-democrats made 11 quorum calls. Now that the government has managed to disqualify six elected pro-democracy legislators, the pro-government camp believe they have the upper hand and want to amend Legco’s rules of procedure to limit debates and questioning of officials. The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Chan Kin-por, is even taking steps to restrict debating time over government funding requests.

      Last week, we spoke to Chief Executive Carrie Lam about her first Policy Address. Land and housing were major priorities. Now with me in the studio to further discuss these ever controversial matters is the Undersecretary for Transport and Housing, Raymond So.

      Those expecting news of more affordable housing in last week’s Policy Address will have been very disappointed. However there were some new measures such as an increased supply of Subsidised Home Ownership units providing “Starter Homes” for middle-class families. Plus there are plans for “Light Housing” projects in idle government premises, some transitional housing and even the opportunity to live in shipping containers. Ms Lam says she wants to focus on home-ownership, yet many people can only dream of taking that first step on the housing ladder.

      Meanwhile more than 2,000 delegates from all over China are sitting in Beijing attending the 19th Chinese Communist Party congress, which will lay out new policies for the coming five years and looks to cement President Xi Jinping’s position. We’ll leave you with images of that. See you next week.

      21/10/2017
    • CE Carrie Lam talks to The Pulse on the Policy Address

      CE Carrie Lam talks to The Pulse on the Policy Address

      Hello and welcome to a new season of The Pulse. On Tuesday, the day before delivering her maiden Policy Address, Chief Executive Carrie Lam released her self-assessed report card on her first 100 days in office. The 12-page document set the tone for what was to come the next day. She said the Address was to be “a new beginning” and hoped it would mark “new starting points” for many areas in Hong Kong.

      Following the Address on Wednesday, a survey conducted by Hong Kong University’s Public Opinion Programme found that 48% of respondents were satisfied with the Policy Address, 14% were not. Overall, on a scale of 0-100, respondents gave the Address a 62.4 score.

      That's it from us for this week. And just to update you - from now on, the first run of The Pulse is on RTHK 31 every Saturday at 6pm with a repeat on Sunday at 6:30am. If you prefer to watch on demand, via the RTHK website you can still catch us there or on our Facebook page – where you will find both streaming video and podcasts – or you can give RTHK’s mobile Apps a go. Wherever you catch us, we’ll see you next week. Goodbye.

      14/10/2017
    • Interview with Sec. for Labour & Welfare Law Chi-kwong & housing with Michael Wright & Marco Wu

      Interview with Sec. for Labour & Welfare Law Chi-kwong & housing with Michael Wright & Marco Wu

      A founding member of the Democratic Party, Law Chi-kwong is the only member of Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s cabinet with a pro-democratic background. He’s here with me to talk about his new role as Secretary for Labour and Welfare.

      From coping with the squatter settlements that housed mainland immigrants who poured into Hong Kong after the Communist revolution, to today’s situation where we have the world’s most expensive property market, housing a growing population has been a headache for many administrations. According to last year’s Hong Kong Council of Social Service survey, more than half of the population aged between 20 and 34 are earning less than the median wage of $14,700. Only 30% of them say they are satisfied with the economy, and a mere 20% believe that it will be possible to buy a home in the future. The government said that due to land shortages it will only be able to build 236,000 public housing flats instead of its target of 280,000 by 2027. Meanwhile, the average waiting time for public housing now stands at four years and eight months.

      We’ll be talking to the man who helped to shape Hong Kong’s post war public housing design: the 104-year-old former head of the Public Works Department, Michael Wright on London, and Marco Wu, the man who’s been dubbed the father of the Home Ownership Scheme.

      05/08/2017
    • XRL Co-location controversy & HK 1967 Riots

      XRL Co-location controversy & HK 1967 Riots

      The whole point of the Express Rail Link, 26 kilometres of which crosses Hong Kong, is that it’s supposed to be an “Express” rail link. It will service 16 cities in China. Travel times from Hong Kong to Beijing will be around nine and a half hours and seven and a half hours to Shanghai. The government says that convenience will be lost if travellers have to pass through two border controls so it wants mainland officials to operate in Hong Kong, imposing mainland law. Critics say this will knock a huge hole in the Basic Law. With me in the studio are legislator and Convenor of Roundtable, Michael Tien and former legislator and Senior Counsel Alan Leong.

      It’s fifty years since, in the long hot summer of 1967, the mass insanity of the Cultural Revolution spread to Hong Kong in the form of riots, bombings and murder. The disturbances began as labour disputes, but local leftists saw this as an opportunity to spread communist fervour, some of those involved even believed that the mayhem would force the British to return Hong Kong to Chinese rule. Most of the local population did not share their fervour, particularly when bombs killed innocent victims, including children. Bomb disposal experts were called to defuse as many as 8,000 suspected explosive devices, of which 1,100 were real. For almost eight months, the territory was embroiled in violent demonstrations, strikes, murder and intimidation.

      29/07/2017
    • Disqualification of 4 legislators, elderly scavengers in HK & Liu Xiaobo's commemoration

      Disqualification of 4 legislators, elderly scavengers in HK & Liu Xiaobo's commemoration

      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.

      22/07/2017
    • Liu Xiaobo's death, Hongkongers identity & 4 legislators disqualified

      Liu Xiaobo's death, Hongkongers identity & 4 legislators disqualified

      On Christmas Day, 2009, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment and two years deprivation of political rights for “inciting subversion of state power”.
      Two days before his sentence, he wrote his “I Have No Enemies: My Final Statement”. It was intended to be read out in court but he was not allowed to finish reading it.
      A year later, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. His death on Thursday made him the second winner of that prize to die in captivity. The first, Carl von Ossietzky, who was awarded the prize in 1935, also died in hospital while detained by the Nazi regime. Like Liu, he had been banned from collecting the award himself. Governments and organisations around the world had pleaded for Liu to be allowed to leave China for treatment. Here in Hong Kong, pro-Beijing lawmakers refused to allow his plight to even be debated in Legco, and Chief Executive Carrie Lam said it’s not her role to exert “pressure” on the central government over Liu’s fate. Coverage of Liu Xiaobo’s death in China has been muted. On social media, messages saying “RIP” or even showing candle emojis are being deleted. With me in the studio is William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International Hong Kong.

      When Chinese President Xi Jinping came to town two weeks ago to mark the 20th anniversary of the Handover, he laid down red lines Hong Kong should not cross. He said that, on day-to-day matters, we must “be guided by a strong sense of “one country”, and firmly observe the principle of “one country””. Any attempt to endanger China’s sovereignty and security and challenge the power of the central government is “an act that crosses the red line, and is absolutely impermissible.” The president’s hard line and incidents such as the treatment of Liu Xiaobo and other dissidents continue to unnerve many Hongkongers, some of whom are planning to leave, but many mainlanders Hong Kong are keen to live here as they the SAR as a land of opportunity.

      15/07/2017
    • Carrie Lam Q&A, 20A: Education & Grenfell Tower Fire

      Carrie Lam Q&A, 20A: Education & Grenfell Tower Fire

      On Wednesday, just five days into her job, new Chief Executive Carrie Lam went to the Legislative Council to take questions from legislators, most of whom seem to be taking a wait and see attitude as to whether her administration will be less contentious than that of Leung Chun-ying.

      3+3+4, DSE, TSA, BCA, subsidised schools, grant schools, DSS, Caput schools, PIS, ESF… parents navigating their children through the school system are confronted with a world of jargon. We’ll try and spare you from that but later in the show will be looking at some of the changes in the education system over the past two decades.

      There’s considerable resistance in the United Kingdom to living in high-rise buildings, unlike here in Hong Kong where such accommodation, at sometimes-outrageous prices, is a simple fact of life. In Hong Kong, high-rise buildings are often luxury developments. Not so much in the UK, where budget reductions for local authorities have meant that in high-rise public housing, corners have been cut with potentially fatal consequences. While in London, producer Nina Loh spoke to local residents and volunteers who have been affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, the worst fire disaster in modern British history.

      08/07/2017
    • HKSAR 20th anniversary: Xi Jinping's visit, discussion with Ronny Tong & Martin Lee & interview with Chris Patten

      HKSAR 20th anniversary: Xi Jinping's visit, discussion with Ronny Tong & Martin Lee & interview with Chris Patten

      As if you didn’t know - July 1st marks the 20th anniversary of the HKSAR. Streets and tunnel entrances have been decked out in a sea of red flags and Communist-style welcoming banners for President Xi Jinping’s three-day visit. It is Mr Xi’s first visit to Hong Kong since becoming China’s leader in 2012. Some areas of Admiralty and Wan Chai are in a state of lock down with roads closed and massive barricades erected to shield the big-wigs plus, of course, stringent security checks. With me in the studio are Ronny Tong, a new member of the Executive Council and we also have a former member of the Hong Kong Basic Law Drafting Committee, Martin Lee.

      During his tenure as Hong Kong’s last governor, Chris Patten was called all sorts of names by Chinese top officials and state media. He was labeled a whore, a serpent, a tango dancer and “a sinner for a thousand years”. But to most people in Hong Kong, he was affectionately known as “Fat Pang” and remembered for his liking of egg tarts and engagement with the public. 20 years after boarding the royal yacht Britannia to leave Hong Kong, he says the city is still close to his heart. Producer Nina Loh talked to Chris Patten in London. where he recalled his five years as Governor as being his “happiest years”.

      01/07/2017
    • Carrie Lam's new cabinet & discussion with Anson Chan, renewable energy in HK

      Carrie Lam's new cabinet & discussion with Anson Chan, renewable energy in HK

      After winning the Chief Executive election, Carrie Lam promised new blood and diversity in her administration. After months of searching, she said she’d even had a nightmare about not having enough people to swear in on July 1”. Well on Wednesday, she unveiled her new cabinet – which indeed had all the seats filled but they were pretty much filled with same old people. This has encouraged many people to say: “Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss”. With us in the studio to talk about the new cabinet is former Cheif Secretary Anson Chan.

      In the wake of the United States’ government’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change there’ve been suggestions that China could now assume the role of leadership on this matter. Cynics point out that as long as it is so difficult to breathe in so many large Chinese cities it may be premature to talk about PRC leadership on climate issues. However the Mainland is seeing extraordinary growth in solar and wind power production. The 2016-2020 “five-year-plan” for renewables aims to raise total wind generation capacity from 129 gigawatts in 2015 to more than 210 GW by 2020. Solar energy production is set to rise from some 43 to 110 GW. The wind and solar sectors in the mainland have attracted as much as 5.4 trillion yuan in investment and created thousands of jobs. So how is Hong Kong doing in all of this? Well, maybe not so great.

      The United Kingdom’s “Queen’s Speech” may be delivered by the reigning monarch but is written by her ministers and lays out the government’s legislative agenda. This Wednesday, before heading to the horseracing at Royal Ascot The Queen announced a much scaled-down set of Conservative Party policies. Meanwhile, there was much social commentary about the possible significance of her apparently pro-EU headwear.
      Well, we’ll leave you to be the judge of that. Goodbye.

      24/06/2017
    • Standard Working Hours & panel discussion with Leong Che-hung and Carol Ng;  Food Trucks.

      Standard Working Hours & panel discussion with Leong Che-hung and Carol Ng; Food Trucks.

      With just two weeks to go before his departure, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced a long-awaited framework for standard working hours.
      Labour activists say the plan cheats Hong Kong workers and falls far short of Leung’s election manifesto promises. Meanwhile, employers warn that actually paying workers for working excessive hours could lead to job losses.

      Go out for a meal in Hong Kong and it’s a pretty fair bet that a sizeable chunk of your bill is going to a landlord. This has not been always been the case not only were rents lower, but customers had a wider choice of food stalls or dai pai dongs. Hawkers’ roadside food stalls commonly sold fish balls, sugarcane, ox tripe, dried cuttlefish in places like public housing estates, cinemas, swimming pools and parks.
      In the 1970s the government decided to stop issuing hawker licenses to new operators and brought in tighter controls and restrictions for existing license holders. When this generation of dai pai dong owners dies or retires another of Hong Kong’s traditions is likely to become history.
      It has been claimed that the introduction of food trucks provides some kind of replacement for this dwindling heritage. That’s questionable on a number of levels not least when the new scheme’s highly bureaucratic nature, lack of flexibility for moving the trucks around and high cost to customers is taken into account.

      We’ll leave you with a reminder from London of the tragic cost of high rise living when in literally minutes a home turns into a blazing inferno with heavy loss of life – no doubt in hi-rise Hong Kong there are also some sobering lessons to be learned.

      17/06/2017
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