監製:Diana Wan


    Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is in Beijing on his final duty visit. As ever he met Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping. Everything went pretty much to form: President Xi said he respected and understood Leung’s decision not to seek a second term, and praised his work in fighting the idea of Hong Kong independence. With him in Beijing – but on different business – is Chief Secretary Carrie Lam who denies she’s there for a “job interview or job hunting”, nope – apparently she is solely there to discuss collaboration with the Palace Museum which will be making a contribution to mark the 20th anniversary of the HKSAR.

    In a high profile and rare press conference at the Forbidden City, the Chief Secretary Carrie Lam signed an agreement with the Palace Museum to build a museum to house part of its collection in the West Kowloon Cultural District to mark the 20th anniversary of the HKSAR. Bypassing Legco, the Hong Kong Jockey Club will inject $3.5 billion to the project, and the museum is expected to be built in 2022. With us in the studio is David Zweig, Director of the Centre on China’s Transnational Relations at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to talk about that.

    75 years ago Hong Kong was preparing for one of the darkest Christmas days the then colony had ever experienced. Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, Japanese troops invaded Hong Kong. Vastly outnumbered, the Hong Kong forces managed to hold off for eighteen days, before the official surrender on Christmas Day. Thousands were killed, missing, and wounded. Many, combatants and non-combatants alike, were made prisoners of war. Japan occupied Hong Kong for three years and eight months.

    And it’s very nearly the end of us for this year which, by any standards, has been both unsettling and turbulent for people in many parts of the world. But that won’t stop all of us at The Pulse, hoping you enjoy the Christmas vacation and, assuming you survive the festivities – we’ll see you next week!

    聯絡: wanyt@rthk.hk


    • North Korea tensions & HK-Zhuhai-Macau bridge causalties

      North Korea tensions & HK-Zhuhai-Macau bridge causalties

      Fears of global military conflicts and wars have risen since Donald Trump took office as US president. So far, when not conducting foreign “diplomacy” by Twitter, he’s launched 59 missiles at Syria, dropped the “Mother of All Bombs” on Afghanistan, and taken a tough line on North Korea and its provocative missile tests. From the other side of the Pacific, North Korea has said, worrying even the People’s Republic of China, that it will test missiles every week if it wants, and threatened, “all out war” if it needs to retaliate. WIth us in the studio to talk about it is Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Head of Department of Government and International Studies of Baptist University.

      Ever wondered where our tax dollars go? Well, according to the government, infrastructural projects, many referred to by those less prone to cheerleading as “white elephants”, top expenditure, followed by education, social welfare and health. HK$100 billion is earmarked for such projects in this year’s Budget. One of the grandest is the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge. Critics have called it the “bridge to nowhere”, and not long after it’s completed it’s going to face competition from a new 24-km. bridge over the Pearl River Delta linking Zhongshan and Shenzhen. There are murmurs in some quarters that the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai bridge isn’t going to be ready for commissioning, as scheduled, by the end of the year. The government insists it will, although there will still be some elements to complete. It’s 34 years since Hopewell Holdings founder Gordon Wu first suggested the idea. Agreements on funding were reached between Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland in 2008, and – inevitably – as with all such long running projects, it’s going to end up costing more than was planned. We have no idea of the safety record of the project on the mainland side, but in Hong Kong there’s been a considerable human cost, in terms of both injuries and death.

    • Michael Tien leaving NPP, Mismanagement in Tin Ma Court & Brazilian meat ban

      Michael Tien leaving NPP, Mismanagement in Tin Ma Court & Brazilian meat ban

      Bbreaking up is hard to do. Just ask Michael Tien and Regina Ip. We talk to Tien his reasons for leaving New People's Party.

      Since it took over most of the commercial assets in Hong Kong’s public housing estates from the Housing Authority, The Link REIT has been Asia’s biggest REIT.
      It took in some HK$4,608 million in revenue just last year. Its decisions have sometimes been controversial, with small shopkeepers and caterers arguing that attempts to upgrade malls and markets have forced them out of business in favour of big chains and increased rents. But while many are not happy with what can happen when The Link is in charge, there can also be problems when it sells its less profitable properties. Since 2014, it has sold 28. For tenants of one, in Wong Tai Sin’s Tin Ma Shopping Centre, that has not brought improvements.

      "Meat Free Mondays” may be making inroads, but most Hongkongers are champion carnivores and proud of it. We’re also the biggest market for beef from Brazil, importing more than US$178 million worth last year. So it’s no surprise that the country’s recent food safety scandal, and the Hong Kong government’s temporary partial banning of Brazilian beef, has had plenty of reverberations.

    • Vote-rigging in IT FC, Mark Pinkstone & Charles Mok to talk about CE election & solid waste charge

      Vote-rigging in IT FC, Mark Pinkstone & Charles Mok to talk about CE election & solid waste charge

      whether it’s elections for legislators or Chief Executive, Beijing seems to be getting actively involved in Hong Kong’s democratic process, and that does not bode well for the apparently increasingly moth-eaten principle of “One Country, Two Systems”. Following on from such earlier phenomena as the bussing of people from elderly homes and free seafood dinners, there were also overt, ahem, “recommendations” which way to vote in the Chief Executive election last month, and the ICAC recently arrested 72 people for alleged vote-rigging during last’s years Legco election. With us in the studio are Mark Pinkstone, chief information officer for Regina Ip’s chief executive election campaign and Charles Mok of the Professionals Commons.

      The average Hongkonger throws out about 1.39kg of household waste each day. Each year, we sent more than six million tons of it to our landfills. Thanks to our consumption-led lifestyle, our municipal solid waste has increased by over 80% over the past 30 years. In 2014, the government set a target to slash that figure by 40% per cent by 2022. And one way is to charge us for being wasteful.

    • Carrie Lam as CE: discussion with Ronny Tong & Rachel Cartland, OC arrest & REO lost laptops

      Carrie Lam as CE: discussion with Ronny Tong & Rachel Cartland, OC arrest & REO lost laptops

      After months of speculation over which way Beijing would finally declare the wind should blow, last Sunday provided little surprise. Former Chief Secretary Carrie Lam is to be Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive. Unlike Leung Chun-ying, who won with just 689 votes in 2012, Mrs Lam managed to garner 777. Her rivals, former Financial Secretary John Tsang, had 365 votes leaving Woo Kwok-hing, with just 12. Several electors from both pro-establishment and pro-democracy camps reported that they had received calls from the Liaison Office and other middlemen “familiar with the Chinese side” telling them precisely what Beijing expected them to do. With us in the studio are Convenor of Path of Democracy Ronny Tong and former assistant director of social welfare, Rachel Cartland.

      Carrie Lam may have received 88 more small-circle votes than her predecessor Leung Chun-ying, but according to most polls she’ll be taking up her position with a much lower popularity rating than Mr Leung when he came into office. One reason is that she was running against a considerably more popular opponent.
      Given that Beijing representatives had made their preferences pretty clear, the insistence on installing Mrs Lam has been interpreted as a sign of a continued hard line stance towards Hong Kong. That impression intensified when, the day after the election, the police arrested and charged three main leaders of, and six key participants in, the 2014 Occupy Central movement. And that wasn’t the only sensitive post-election development. The Registration and Electoral Office also revealed that on Sunday two laptop computers, at least one of which contained personal data of all Hong Kong voters, had been stolen.

    • CE Election & special needs dental care

      CE Election & special needs dental care

      On Sunday, 1,194 members of the Election Committee will cast their vote for Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive. And the winner will be …. Well, let’s put it this way – it will be no surprise. Over the past week, the three candidates, Carrie Lam, John Tsang and Woo Kwok-hing, appeared together in two forums to state their cases. With us in the studio are Liberal Party leader Felix Chung, and Ip Kin-yuen, Vice-convenor of the Professional Guild.

      When all is going well, we tend to pay little attention to our teeth. When problems arise toothache is a right pain. To avoid this requires dental care, and oral health also impacts eating, the digestive system, speech, appearance and social acceptance. It is, in other words, an important part of the quality of life. Yet, it’s easily neglected.
      For those who can’t afford private treatment, Hong Kong has just eleven government dental health clinics. Hong Kong island has just one. But the situation is worse for people with disabilities which is why a pilot scheme was launched to help them. Although this scheme proved to be successful it may soon be shut down.

    • i-Cable & discussion on the challenges in the TV industry, Two Sessions in Beijing

      i-Cable & discussion on the challenges in the TV industry, Two Sessions in Beijing

      Whatever the government is trying to do in its Hong Kong broadcasting policies, the end result has been a mess. Under Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s administration, the 59-year old Asia Television finally died last year after prolonged deterioration and the, er, ‘interesting’ spell of control by mainland entities. In 2013, against much public resistance, the government refused to grant a free-TV license to Ricky Wong’s HKTV. And now there’s news that another established television station, i-Cable, could soon be gone. Our producer Liz Yuen was at the Hong Kong International Film & TV Market, or Filmart, to find out to what extent is the television industry entering the Internet Age and whether professionals embrace that shift or avoid revolutionary changes. With us are Takahiro Hamano, senior producer of The Japan Broadcasting Corporation NHK, and Joe Suteestarpon, who started Doonee, a subscription video-on-demand provider.

      On Wednesday, the annual “Two Sessions” meetings of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the National People’s Congress, drew to a close. Our producer Lily Ng was in Beijing for those meetings. Later in the show she looks at what government’s plans could mean for foreign businesses operating in China. And then there’s another issue, discussed during these meetings, that strikes closer to home: it concerns Hong Kong children and that tricky matter of the national education curriculum.

      Well, after Trump and Brexit, and in the face of populist threats in upcoming elections in France and Germany, the usually unnoticed elections in the Netherlands became a matter of global attention. Voters turned away from populism and racism as Conservative Prime Minister Mark Ruttee managed to hold on to his position in the face of a strong challenge from his anti-immigration rival Geert Wilders. And the biggest gains went to the environmentalist GreenLeft. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, the courts blocked President Trump’s second attempt at an anti-Muslim travel ban. Perhaps then this was a slightly less depressing week for the non-xenophobes.

    • Co-location arrangement at XRL & alleged cases of cross-border law enforcement in HK

      Co-location arrangement at XRL & alleged cases of cross-border law enforcement in HK

      Apparent abductions of publishers and a billionaire from Hong Kong, alleged investigations by outside agents of individuals who sheltered a US whistle-blower, and attempts to intimidate a newspaper critical of the Hong Kong government and mainland officials: so how porous are Hong Kong’s boundaries when forces, official or otherwise ignore them?And we’re beginning with a related topic: whether mainland immigration officials should be able to enforce law in Hong Kong. With us in the studio are Hung Wing-tat from the HK Society of Transportation Studies, and legislator Alvin Yeung to talk about the co-location immigration checkpoints controversy at the Express Rail Link.

      Hong Kong may not yet have gone to the Trumpian extreme of outright bans on migrants and refugees entering the territory, but the SAR is hardly a bastion of compassion for those in need. Last year, former Secretary for Security Regina Ip suggested building an asylum-seeker detention camp in Shenzhen to deter what she called “fake refugees”. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has also said the SAR might unilaterally withdraw from the United Nations’ convention on torture, which guarantees rights to amnesty seekers. As we’ve previously reported people seeking asylum in Hong Kong don’t have an easy time. But alleged investigations of one such group by overseas law enforcement officers, as well as mysterious removal of individuals wanted by mainland authorities, raise the question of whether those already in Hong Kong are safe from agents, official or otherwise, from outside.

    • Interview with Regina Ip & WKCD new financial arrangement

      Interview with Regina Ip & WKCD new financial arrangement

      The nomination period for the chief executive election ended on Wednesday. John Tsang and Woo Kwok-hing both gathered enough nominations, 165 and 180 respectively, while Beijing’s rumoured favourite contender Carrie Lam had 580. Regina Ip did not however secure enough nominations to enter the race and she’s here to reflect on what happened and maybe what will happen next.

      Next Wednesday marks the end of an eight week exhibition at the City Gallery, displaying aspects of the controversial Hong Kong Palace Museum to be erected in the West Kowloon Cultural District. The exhibition coincides with a series of official of consultation sessions on the project. Not only is the scope of the public consultation limited, the sessions have been held behind closed doors only involving limited participation. Last week, at a Legco subcommittee meeting legislators had plenty of questions to ask both the government and the cultural district authority about its future financing.

    • Police Rally & Budget

      Police Rally & Budget

      Until relatively recently, the Hong Kong police have gone a long way towards improving its reputation as “the best police force money can buy”, after the dark days of the 1970s when police officers stormed the ICAC offices demanding not to be prosecuted for decades of corruption. There has not been another major police gathering until last Wednesday when police officers and their supporters came together to express their anger over the conviction of seven policemen for beating up protester Ken Tsang during the Occupy Central protests. Given the history of police protests it was perhaps surprising to see Maria Tam, the head of the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s operations review committee, addressing the crowd. The meeting was organised by the Junior Police Officers’ Association, and the Hong Kong Police Inspectors’ Association. The associations said that more than 30,000 current and retired officers and their families attended. They shouted “fight for justice”, complained that protesters had called them bad names, chanted foul language slogans and compared themselves and their treatment to that of Jewish people in Europe during World War II. That shocked many, including the Israeli Consulate in Hong Kong which, on Thursday, issued a statement saying that this reference was “inappropriate and regretful”, and that it wished “no further comparison will be made to the Jewish Holocaust”. The German consulate also expressed unease stating that “the comparison between the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and police officers convicted for an abuse of power is utterly inappropriate”. With me now in the studio are Senior Counsel and former Chairman of the HK Bar Association, Philip Dykes and legislator Priscilla Leung.

      On Wednesday, the new Financial Secretary, Paul Chan delivered his first and probably last Budget as this is the final one for the current administration. At a press conference to explain the Budget, Mr Chan was asked how much he’d actually contributed to drafting the fiscal policies during the month or so he’d been in the position. He answered pretty much along the same lines former Financial Secretary John Tsang answered us on this show two weeks ago: saying that the Budget is not a personal effort but a collective government policy. The Budget contained few big surprises, but, yet again, the size of the surplus was a bit of a surprise. This time it totalled HK$92 billion. Given the size of the surplus, many were hoping that more of this cash hoard would be used to help the poor and the middle class.

    • 7 police officers, underground development in 3 major parks, Pang Jai fabric market demolishing

      7 police officers, underground development in 3 major parks, Pang Jai fabric market demolishing

      Almost two and a half years after the event, seven police officers who were caught on camera assaulting a protester during the Umbrella Movement have been given jail sentences.

      Around this same time last year we reported on the planned demise of the 40-year old Pang Jai Fabric Market in Sham Shui Po. Twelve months later, some 50 vendors are still operating there but remain in limbo.

      It’s a daunting record. Hong Kong, with 316 skyscrapers, holds the world record for buildings of this kind. Skyscrapers are defined as being over 150 metres in height.
      That’s why so many Hongkongers are living one version of the high life. Now the government reckons we shouldn’t just go up; we should also go underground … even if it means potential closures and further encroachments on popular parks and recreational facilities in the heart of the city.

      The extraordinary reality show that is also known as the Donald Trump presidency took yet another turn on Thursday when the new President suddenly summoned reporters to a press conference ostensibly to announce his choice for a new labour secretary, after his first pick imploded. However he spent most of his time berating the media and ranging randomly over a wide range of subjects. What happened next was equally surprising as he ended up being heckled by reporters – things are a tad quieter and more predicable here and so I can confidently predict that we’ll be back next week –see you then. Goodbye.