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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 00:00-00:30, and a repeat at 18:00-18:30. TVB Pearl on Saturday Morning at 08:30-09:00

    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
    22/07/2017

    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.

    重溫

    CATCHUP
    05 - 07
    2017
    RTHK 31
    • 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
    • UK Election & discussion with Kenneth Chan, housing in country parks

      UK Election & discussion with Kenneth Chan, housing in country parks

      "Pride goes before a fall” as the old British saying goes, and in April, after vowing on seven different occasions that she wasn’t going to call a snap election, UK prime Minister Theresa May, well, called a snap election. At the time her Conservative Party was riding high in public opinion polls. She figured that there was little to fear from the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and that a stronger mandate in the form of a tighter grip on parliament would improve her ability to negotiate Brexit.
      But it hasn’t worked as planned – indeed hasn’t worked out big time.

      Do birds excrete in trees? Yes they do, well that’s assuming they can find any foliage in Hong Kong’s urban areas, which brings us to complaints about bird droppings and potential falling branches – that led a tree to be pruned this week in Tai Po. This area also happens to be the second largest habitat for egrets and the tree pruning resulted in deaths and injuries to several hatchlings. Generally speaking however the government is not that worried about trees, but, as we have discovered, not all trees are equal.
      When the Chief Executive was asked why country parks could be used to develop housing while golf courses and the Chief Executive’s lodge in Fan Ling could not, Leung Chun-ying said it would be difficult as these places are home to “decades-old trees”. That’s a bit strange because last time I looked the country parks also seemed to be pretty full of old trees. However this has done little to dampen the outgoing Chief Executives’ determination to eat into the country parks.

      10/06/2017
    • CE Q&A, June 4th 28th anniversary & Ramadan

      CE Q&A, June 4th 28th anniversary & Ramadan

      There are just weeks to go before Leung Chun-ying steps down as Chief Executive. On Thursday at his final question and answer session in the Legislative Council, Leung was grilled on the UGL probe by pan-democrats, and offered plenty of softball questions by pro-government lawmakers. Meanwhile, for the third year in a row, attempts by the pan-democrats to introduce a motion commemorating the June 4th crackdown were sidelined. Outside the chamber though, the memory will be kept alive. This Sunday is the 28th anniversary.

      This year’s holy month of Ramadan for Muslims began last Friday evening, but there are fears it could turn into one of the most tragic holy months for a long time. On Tuesday this week, two terrorist attacks blasted the Iraq capital of Baghdad, killing at least 27 people and wounding more than 100. Takfiri Daesh claimed responsibility. A day later, a suicide truck bombing ripped through a secure diplomatic area of Kabul, Afghanistan in the morning rush hour, killing at least 90 people and wounding 400. In recent years, terrorist groups such as Islamic State have picked Ramadan as a peak time for committing acts of violence against other Muslims, but it has not deterred the faithful from observing the tradition.

      There are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, making it the second largest religion after Christianity. For believers the holy month of Ramadan, which began last Friday evening, is particularly important. In mainland China, the Islamic community is having a tough time. In the country’s largest Muslim provinces like Xinjiang with its ten million Uyghurs, the central government has banned Islamic baby names, burqas and “abnormal” beards, and plans to implement DNA checks as a means of controlling the movement of Muslims. This year, it’s also trying to stop people fasting during Ramadan and has ordered all restaurants to remain open. In Hong Kong Ramadan is still observed, particularly by the SAR’s Indonesian community, many of whom are working as domestic helpers.

      03/06/2017
    • Same-sex marriage & East Lantau Metropolis

      Same-sex marriage & East Lantau Metropolis

      On Wednesday Taiwan’s highest court ruled, in a landmark decision, in favour of same-sex marriage. That decision means that Taiwan will become the first place in Asia to legalise marriages of this kind despite the opposition of conservative groups in Taiwan who have argued – among other things – that acceptance of homosexuality is not Chinese. Meanwhile in Hong Kong the gay community has a far longer way to go to achieve equality before the law. With me in the studio are legislator, Priscilla Leung and Felix Yuen, Co-ordinator of Amnesty International’s LGBT group.

      For many Hongkongers, Lantau Island is a breath of fresh air. 54% of it is occupied by country parks. It is home to rare species such as Romer’s Tree Frog, and ecologically important sites such as montane forest, woodland, coastal waters and uncontaminated streams. There are also eight Sites of Special Scientific Interest where development is not permitted, as well as five declared monuments, five graded historical buildings, 57 archaeological sites and over 20 temples. There are now fears that a planned development of nearby Kau Yi Chau to become the East Lantau Metropolis could put this rich heritage at risk.

      27/05/2017
    • UGL Legco Select Committee, HA's Drugs Formulary

      UGL Legco Select Committee, HA's Drugs Formulary

      Do we dare say it? - Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has threatened newspapers, a political commentator and even a legislator with legal action for talking about his HK$50 million payment from the Australian firm UGL. An 11-member Legislative Council committee has been set up to look into the matter. It’s expected to take 14 months to investigate. In a meeting on Monday members of the committee were informed of an unexpected intervention. With me in the studio is former Secretary for the Civil Service and professor, Joseph Wong.

      It can be expensive to be ill in Hong Kong. Much of that expense may be the drugs you need for treatment. Prices vary not only between private and public hospitals and clinics, but depending on the pharmaceutical. Last month, a single mother suffering from a serious disease pleaded to Legco for help in getting treatment. A week later she died. That’s given rise to increased discussion about medication that’s not government subsidised as it’s not included in the Hospital Authority’s Drug Formulary.

      20/05/2017
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