Politicians and public figures from a range of backgrounds take turns to have their say on important matters of the day in this personal view programme.
Catch it live: Sunday 8:15am - 8:25am
Podcast: Updated weekly and available after broadcast.
Almost a year and a half has passed since the pandemic started, we are still surviving.
This is definitely not easy. There is virtually no night life in Hong Kong as known a city never sleeps. The last two years have been hard for all the industries especially the F&B. But I know there is nothing more important than being safe and healthy.
I have been through a lot of ups and downs in my 50 years in Hong Kong. The past two years have been the most difficult. Social protests and months of restricted openings left many bars and restaurants struggling to survive, and that’s really something I have not experienced in Lan Kwai Fong. I estimated more than one-third of bars in Hong Kong had been closed. Luckily we are now allowed to operate until 2am under the vaccine bubble. It is a good start, I hope things will continue to go our way. COVID19 changes our lives in so many ways. There have been tremendous changes in the dining industry. Now that people are going out much less often and drink more at home. As a result, delivery business has been booming. Crisis brings changes. We should try to leverage this opportunity because the home dining concept might continue even in the post pandemic period.
Personally I felt much healthier during the pandemic and enjoyed some quality times with my family especially with my grandchildren. Crisis also brings opportunity, especially in Hong Kong, a magical place to make your dream come true. I have never lost confidence in the city I love. We should learn to live with the pandemic and try every way to return our lives to normal. We must be prepared for what will come next.
Hong Kong was stuck for a while. This started with the social movement two years ago when many people took to the streets to air their political grievances and tried to destroy the city. The extreme violence, which I could often recall from these horrible scenes from TV footage, served no good to anyone and complicated the already geo-political situation between the east and the west. Ironically, the pandemic brought an end to all protests. With the passing of the national security law, we finally started to have our peace back. I am also happy to see the change in the electoral system. Hong Kong government will now be able to speed up solving those deep-seated, acute problems, such as the housing issue and land shortage.
We must respect, not criticize because we are Chinese after all. That is something we cannot deny. Patriotism will help unblock the roadblocks that we've faced all these years. Let’s not forget the DNA of Hong Kong, the name Hong Kong is a strong brand in the world and will be stronger if it continues to integrate into the overall development of the nation. Our strength in financial services, backed by its common law system and independent judiciary, makes Hong Kong a global business center, and that has not changed.
The integration of Hong Kong into the Greater Bay Area will be our future. With 72 million people and ranked as the world’s Top 10 in terms of GDP, it is Hong Kong’s solution to stay competitive to be an innovative and financial powerhouse that could surpass rival Silicon Valley and Tokyo Bay Area in a few years. I urge all the young people to look at things with different eyes and see things other people do not see. I always look at things as "not what they are, but what they could be". The GBA shows tremendous promise. Last year, the gross domestic product in the area reached US$1.65 trillion. By 2030, it is likely to have 80 million people and the GDP could grow to US$3.5 trillion. Hong Kong, Macao, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are four economic pillars in the area. Every city has its own uniqueness and they can work together as a family but still be competitive. These could present many opportunities for young people in the area in many years to come.
Like almost everyone else in Hong Kong, I look forward to the day of the border open, the travel on high-speed rail and also travel on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. I used to travel every week. But I have not done so for 18 months. I missed travelling. Of course, to make it happen, we must try our best to maintain zero infections in this city. We all should go get vaccinated because it is the best way to protect ourselves and our family and friends. With a higher vaccination rate, it is likely we can catch up with other international cities to welcome more tourists and get back to normal.
Let’s keep our efforts up, be positive, and welcome the new one country two systems with Chinese characteristics. We are always the best. I look forward to seeing you all in Lan Kwai Fong. Hong Kong has such great future for everyone.