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    監製:Diana Wan

    17/02/2018

    Kung Hei Fat Choy! Hello and welcome to the first episode of The Pulse in the Year of the Dog.

    The some 300-year-old Lai Chi Wo village inside Plover Cove Country Park is one of Hong Kong’s best-preserved Hakka villages. Consisting of about 200 houses, three ancestral halls and two temples, it’s situated in a crescent of thick trees and shrubs that acts as a natural barrier. Pretty much abandoned for a long time, the village has undergone something of a revitalisation and now serves as a pilot example for nearby communities.

    It’s the Year of the Dog, and in Chinese iconography, dogs symbolise good luck, loyalty, obedience, prosperity, and a promise of friendship. But their relationship with humans isn’t always an easy one. Not only are they – often brutally - killed and eaten in some Asian countries, including China, commercial breeders and pet shops are known to confine them in particularly distressing conditions, and would-be owners are not even allowed to keep them in many Hong Kong housing estates. Things are looking up, as more people across Asia and locally are adopting dogs and looking out for their welfare. As anyone who lives with them knows, they often give back at least as much affection and trust as they receive.


    聯絡: wanyt@rthk.hk


    集數

    EPISODES
    • Sha Tin to Central Link Scandal: discussion with Miriam Lau & the plight of Green Sea Turtles

      Sha Tin to Central Link Scandal: discussion with Miriam Lau & the plight of Green Sea Turtles

      Late on Thursday night the government got its way as legislators, by 40 to 20 votes, gave the green light to a border checkpoint that will see mainland laws enforced in the heart of Hong Kong at the West Kowloon Express Rail terminus. A variety of … let’s say “interesting” … tactics had been used including evicting legislators, refusing to let them attend the following meeting (in apparent contravention of Legco rules), capping debate time, and barring some lawmakers from speaking,
      But that’s far from the only controversy that infrastructural projects like the Express Rail Link, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, and the Sha Tin to Central Link have been facing. There’s also the issue of construction inadequacies, as in the case of Hong Kong’s most expensive internal rail project to date, the HK$97 billion 17-kilometre Sha Tin to Central Link. With us to discuss the issue is Miriam Lau, former chairman of Legco's Panel for Transport.

      Two years ago, the University of Hong Kong released the first comprehensive study on Hong Kong’s marine biodiversity. It revealed that 5,943 marine species have been found within an area of just about 1,651 square kilometres. That’s not a huge area, but it hosts more than a quarter of all the marine species recorded in China. We have more hard corals than the whole Caribbean Sea, and more mangrove tree species than East Africa. Despite that less than 2% of our marine area is designated as marine parks, and even that designation provides only limited protection. And one of the creatures at risk, thanks to encroachment on the sea and plastic pollution, is the Green Sea Turtle.

      Well, arguments over who has the biggest nuclear button, at least for now, on Tuesday, the U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un met in Singapore. The two leaders were all smiles, patting each other on the back while Mr Trump enjoined photographers to make them “look nice and handsome and thin.” They issued a statement that they plan to work towards the “denuclearisation” of Pyongyang, although no timetable was given. Meanwhile Mr Trump agreed to U.S-South Korea joint military exercises.

      16/06/2018
    • 29th anniversary of Tiananmen Sqaure crackdown: interview with Joshua Wong, Senia Ng, Xu Xi & Liao Yiwu

      29th anniversary of Tiananmen Sqaure crackdown: interview with Joshua Wong, Senia Ng, Xu Xi & Liao Yiwu

      What any nation knows of its history is the result of a constant conflict between remembering, reassessing and forgetting. For governments determined to control perceptions of the past, intimidation, censorship and propaganda are their tools of choice. Oh, and there’s always the simple alternative of rewriting history. In mainland China, the official narrative explaining the Cultural Revolution has been periodically re-phrased and atrocities toned down. And Hong Kong is also seeing increasing attempts to ‘reinterpret’ recent Chinese history, particularly in school textbooks. And then there’s the thorny problem of what happened in 1989, so taboo on the mainland that around June 4th the internet search terms “today, “yesterday”, and “tomorrow” have been blocked, as has the character “zhan” (占) because it looks like a tank. Yet Hong Kong persists in remembering. With us in the studio is Joshua Wong, council member of the recently formed think tank “Dialogue China”.

      In the spring of 1989, writer and professor Liu Xiaobo was in New York. He returned to China after hearing about the growing protests for democracy and against corruption. Joining the students in protest, he went on hunger strike. Days after the crackdown, he was placed in a detention centre for almost 20 months. From then on he spent much of his life in and out of prison and was deprived of political rights. In 2010, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. At the ceremony he was represented by an empty chair, as he was still in jail, serving an 11-year sentence for “inciting subversion of state power”. He died of liver cancer on 13th July last year. Since then his widow, Liu Xia has been under de facto house arrest and is subject to constant surveillance. Last month, dozens of leading writers and artists took part in a campaign organised by Amnesty International and PEN calling for her release.

      09/06/2018
    • HK Law Society council election & interview with Eric Cheung & press freedom with Sonny Swe, Co-founder The Myanmar Times

      HK Law Society council election & interview with Eric Cheung & press freedom with Sonny Swe, Co-founder The Myanmar Times

      Photography in Hong Kong courts or court buildings is prohibited. It’s an offence carrying fines, and in more serious cases, a jail sentence. The long trial of defendants accused of participating in the Mong Kok unrest of 2016 has already seen two suspicious cases of courtroom photography earlier this year. Two weeks ago, the court received an anonymous email containing photos of jury members. A few days after that, as the same trial continued, a mainland woman was found taking photos on her mobile phone. Her defence is interesting, she claims “Jesus says I’m innocent.” And it isn’t just mainlanders who’ve breached this law. The former president of the Hong Kong Law Society Junius Ho took a “selfie” inside the High Court and uploaded it to social media in 2016. A police investigation was launched but the case was dropped on advice from the Department of Justice. And while we’re on the topic of the Hong Kong Law Society, on Thursday evening the more than 10,000 strong organisation elected new council members. One of them is law academic Eric Cheung.

      Last month, the Hong Kong Journalists Association released its annual press freedom survey. It says the Hong Kong Press Freedom Index has dropped to a new low of 47.1 on a scale of 100. 70% of journalists surveyed said that press freedom has deteriorated compared to a year ago. Both the public and journalists see pressure from the Central Government as a major factor. This year’s Reporters Without Borders’s World Press Freedom Index also said that the Chinese model of state-controlled news and information is being copied in other Asian countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Myanmar is also down six places compared to last year. It ranks 137th in the list. Reporters Without Borders says that the government led by Aung San Suu Kyi has lost all credibility in terms of defending the media. Early this month, we spoke to Sonny Swe, co-founder of the Myanmar Times. Established in 2000, it is the oldest privately-owned English-language newspaper in the country.

      This year’s Reporters Without Borders’s World Press Freedom Index also said that the Chinese model of state-controlled news and information is being copied in other Asian countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Myanmar is also down six places compared to last year. It ranks 137th in the list. Reporters Without Borders says that the government led by Aung San Suu Kyi has lost all credibility in terms of defending the media. Early this month, we spoke to Sonny Swe, co-founder of the Myanmar Times. Established in 2000, it is the oldest privately-owned English-language newspaper in the country.

      02/06/2018
    • Scrapping of the Mong Kok Pedestrian Zone, difficulties stay-at-home mothers face in HK

      Scrapping of the Mong Kok Pedestrian Zone, difficulties stay-at-home mothers face in HK

      Hong Kong’s busking scene is growing. But not all busking is music to the ears, especially in packed places like the Mong Kok pedestrian zone. On Thursday the Yau Tsim Mong District Council put a vote to end the car-free zone. With us in the studio are Clarisse Yeung, Wan Chai district councillor and member of the Hong Kong Culture Monitor and Carine Lai Senior Researcher of Civic Exchange to talk about this issue.

      It’s not an easy job being a mother, some have to combine parenting with paid employment others look after children full time. There’s little chance to clock off, at least not until the kids become more independent. For some, motherhood can be a lifetime career, and one without pensions or safeguards for old age. According to a recent United States’ study the work of a mother and home-maker is the equivalent of two and a half full-time jobs, with a 14-hour working day seven days in a week.

      On Sunday, despite strong objections from conservation groups, tree specialists and lawmakers, the government cut down two 80-year-old “stone wall” banyan trees on Bonham Road. The Lands Department’s report said that the trees had cavities, signs of decay and fungal infection and were in immediate risk of collapsing. But the proof, in this case, was in the cutting. Tree experts found that the two trees were in fact in good shape and could have been saved by strengthening the wall. If we’re also not cut down we’ll see you next week. Goodbye.

      26/05/2018
    • National funding available for HK hi-tech industries: interview with Nicolas Yang, Sec. for Innovation & Technology

      National funding available for HK hi-tech industries: interview with Nicolas Yang, Sec. for Innovation & Technology

      Hello and welcome to The Pulse. The science and technology gap between the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China, is narrowing.
      Recent studies show that China is catching up to the U.S. in developing artificial intelligence or AI, big data, intellectual property, computing, and in space and military technologies. Last year, China’s total spending on research and development is estimated to have hit 1.76 trillion yuan, around 2.1% of its gross domestic product. The aim is to make the country a major power in technological innovation, by 2050. And – apparently - Hong Kong’s hi-tech industries have a part to play. Joining me now is Nicolas Yang, Secretary for Innovation and Technology to talk more about it.

      Journalists working in mainland China encounter all sorts of challenges. In the past week alone, reporters from two local media organisations were roughed up in Sichuan and Beijing. Chief Executive Carrie Lam says she feels sorry that such an incident happened to media workers but then qualified that by adding “each village has its own rules, whether it is reporters or government officials, we all need to abide by local laws”. Nice to know your leaders have your back. Goodbye.

      19/05/2018
    • Karl Marx 200th birthday: discussion with Tim Summers & consultation on drones

      Karl Marx 200th birthday: discussion with Tim Summers & consultation on drones

      Last Saturday, 5th May, was the 200th anniversary of the birth of the German philosopher Karl Marx whose writings paved the way for the development of Communism. Over the past week, some commentators have praised his work as accurately predicting the state of modern capitalism. Others have focused on the evils perpetuated by totalitarian states using his name. In his birthplace in the German town of Trier, celebrations included the unveiling of a controversial gift from China and there were protests. With us in the studio is Tim Summers from the Centre for China Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

      Small drones, or “unmanned aerial vehicles”, are booming in the People’s Republic of China, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer drones.
      They’re finding uses in areas including agriculture, mining, goods delivery, and cinematography. And we’re going to see a lot more of drones with the market estimated to be worth $9 billion US dollars by 2020. Here in Hong Kong, the interests of drone hobbyists and businesses can conflict with an environment that’s mostly urban, vertical, and crowded. The Civil Aviation Department is currently conducting a three-month consultation exercise on regulation of drone use.

      Ten years ago, on 12th May, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Sichuan, killing at least 69,000 people, including thousands of children in shoddily-built schools. Some 4.8 million people lost their homes. We’ll leave you with images of Sichuan then and today. See you next week. Goodbye.

      12/05/2018
    • End-of-Life care in Hong Kong

      End-of-Life care in Hong Kong

      First the good news. Hongkongers have one of the world’s longest life expectancies. Now the not so good news. Hong Kong also has a low birth rate and an ageing population. More than a third of the population is already past retirement age moreover their number is projected to double in the next two decades. Long life however also involves low living standards and poor health. One in three older people live below the poverty line, and the government is simply not providing adequate care and services for their needs. On top of all this is the final frontier: a deep-rooted cultural taboo over talking frankly about dying.

      In part one we looked at how there just aren’t enough hospice or palliative care facilities in the medical system, and we saw that the public is largely ignorant of the availability of these facilities. Those caring for the terminally ill or very old people are subject to a great deal of mental pressure that in turn affects their well-being. Once people tended to die at home. Now 90% of Hongkongers will expire in medical institutions surrounded by medical technology. Among the reasons are the high cost of in-home palliative care and barriers such as legal issues.

      On Monday, two coordinated double suicide bombings in Kabul, Afghanistan killed 36 people and injured another 45. Among them were nine journalists. On the same day, in a separate incident, a BBC reporter was shot dead in the eastern province of Khost. Reporters Without Borders said the attack was the worst of its kind against Afghan journalists “since the fall of the Taliban government in December 2001.”
      We’ll end on that sombre note. Goodbye.

      05/05/2018
    • Democratic Party member Ted Hui's phone incident & discussion with Wu Chi-wai, Paul Tse & Holden Chow

      Democratic Party member Ted Hui's phone incident & discussion with Wu Chi-wai, Paul Tse & Holden Chow

      For those not familiar with how things are done in the Legco complex, the so-called “Ted Hui Phone Incident” that happened on Tuesday may seem somewhat bizarre.
      Democratic Party lawmaker Mr Hui snatched a mobile phone from a female civil servant and took it to the men’s toilet to examine its contents. He later said he had done so to protect the privacy of lawmakers. With me to talk about the matter are Chairman of the Democratic Party, Wu Chi-wai, Legco’s Committee on Rules of Procedure, Paul Tse and Holden Chow of the DAB.

      On Friday in a historic summit, North Korea leader Kim Jong-un met South Korean President Moon Jae-in the demilitarised zone between the two countries, the first North Korean leader to cross the border since the end of the Korean War in 1953. The summit’s expected to include discussion of suspending Pyongyang’s nuclear arms development, peace talks, and a series of economic and social issues. We’ll leave you with images of that significant meeting. Goodbye.

      28/04/2018
    • James Tien on national security law & land battles

      James Tien on national security law & land battles

      Three years ago China passed a national security law and designated 15th April as National Security Education Day. Mainland law does not apply in Hong Kong but last Sunday, the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute organised a high-profile symposium to mark this day. Speakers took it as an opportunity to attack law academic Benny Tai’s s remarks on independence at a seminar in Taiwan last month, and to put extra pressure on the SAR to enact its own national security law. With me in the studio is the former leader of the Liberal Party, James Tien. I should add that we also asked a number of individuals who have supported introducing a National Security Law to talk to us, but they declined.

      Within ten days in March, there were three suspicious fires at the Nam Sang Wai wetlands, affecting more than 12 hectares of land. Less than a month later, there was a fourth. This one damaged a small ferry pier and a boat. Police and fire fighters say the fires are suspicious. The wetland has been in the sights of developers for some time.
      Among the reasons for the suspicion about these fires is the fact that reducing the ecological value of areas makes it easier to get permission for development. This is what’s known as the strategy of “destroy first, build later”.

      Well, that’s it from us for this week. We’ll end with footage of this week’s visit to Hong by retired Chinese official, Qiao Xiaoyang to speak at a seminar on the Basic Law.
      This is the second seminar of this kind within a week, and you may be thrilled to learn that there are probably many more to come. In part this is because the government has poured almost HK$24 million, 30% more than last year, into training civil servants to understand the correct nationalist perspective.
      Correct, of course, is what we do at The Pulse so we’ll correctly see you next week.

      21/04/2018
    • Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Maco Bridge's artificial island controversy: discussion with Albert Lai & Raymond Chan

      Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Maco Bridge's artificial island controversy: discussion with Albert Lai & Raymond Chan

      Taxpayers are paying something like HK$200 billion for Hong Kong’s contribution to two controversial infrastructure projects, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge and the Express Rail Link. Concerns have been raised about both projects and the degree to which Hong Kong has relinquished control over aspects of their construction and operation. On Tuesday last week, the last carriage of an Express Rail train was derailed during testing. Two days later, news media revealed aerial images of an artificial island that’s included in the bridge project. This appeared to show that part of it was drifting away. With me in the studio are Albert Lai of the Professional Commons & Raymond Chan, former Head of the Geotechnical Engineering Office.

      Talking of things that are complicated brings us to the grilling given to Facebook founder and chairman Mark Zuckerberg by US legislators this week. Top of their agenda were questions over Facebook’s collaboration with Cambridge Analytica which harvested the data of an estimated 87 million Facebook users and used the results for political campaigns. Some people thought that Zuckerberg dodged tough questions others were struck by the level of ignorance among lawmakers about how the internet works. Zuckerberg was asked at one point whether he was willing to reveal which hotel he was staying at while in Washington DC. He was not. The point being that information of this kind can easily be obtained from unwary Facebook users. Meanwhile we’ll see you next week, possibly by means of Facebook - hum.

      14/04/2018