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