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    監製:Diana Wan

    02/03/2019

    On Wednesday, Financial Secretary Paul Chan unveiled the government’s 2019 Budget, and it’s fair to say many are less than impressed. According to a University of Hong Kong survey the level of satisfaction with this Budget is the lowest since similar surveys began in 2008. Both pro-government and pan democratic legislators have expressed their disapproval. The Financial Secretary will be on The Pulse’s Budget special next week to explain more.

    Last September, the Security Bureau outlawed the political group, the National Party. In January, the group’s co-founder, Andy Chan presented his case to the Executive Council. The result of the appeal has yet to be handed down. Yet this Tuesday the Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the central government has already sent her a letter asking her to submit a report on the incident. With us to talk about that are Executive Councillor Ronny Tong and Nathan Law, Standing Committee Member of Demosistō.

    Kwun Tong was once an industrial and manufacturing centre. Today it’s undergoing a transformation. The government has made the area part of its Smart City pilot scheme and wants it to be a new Central Business District. New commercial and office spaces have sprung up, along with hotels and luxury properties. According to news reports, even the Liaison Office has got in on the act, sweeping up 20 apartment units worth HK$247.53 million in an Urban Renewal Authority and Sino Land residential development and saving as much as HK$74.3 million on stamp duties. The office’s real estate portfolio now includes more than 280 residential properties.
    But what’s happening to the old neighbourhood and its tenants?


    聯絡: wanyt@rthk.hk


    集數

    EPISODES
    • Interview with Thomas Tsang former Controller for the Centre for Health Protection on Wuhan virus & Chinese New Year celebration in the midst of the on-going protests

      Interview with Thomas Tsang former Controller for the Centre for Health Protection on Wuhan virus & Chinese New Year celebration in the midst of the on-going protests

      Kung Hei Fat Choy. Hello and welcome to The Pulse. It’s time to welcome the Year of the Rat, but, lamentably, thanks to the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus it’s not a time for everyone to celebrate. Whether the Hong Kong government likes it or not, more people are walking the streets wearing masks. The spread of the virus is accelerating and human to human transition has now been confirmed. On Monday, shortly after President Xi Jinping demanded “resolute efforts to curb the spread of the virus”, many more cases were reported on the mainland. The official death toll almost doubled in one day. As of Friday morning, the official death toll for the virus stands at 25 people. Some 830 cases have been confirmed. Travel bans have been imposed on eight cities in Hubei province including Wuhan. Our producer Yvonne Tong’s been talking to Thomas Tsang, former Controller for the Centre for Health Protection, who’s known for his work combatting bird and swine flu and indeed SARS which is very similar to this new virus.

      The Lunar New Year is a major holiday in many parts of Asia, and certainly the most important celebration in the traditional Chinese calendar. Here in Hong Kong, after eight months of protests, the government has decided to cancel many regular celebrations including the fireworks over Victoria Harbour and the New Year Parade. Inevitably the protests have also changed many things for individuals and families. For some, that includes how they’ll be celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Rat.

      25/01/2020
    • Interview with historian Niall Ferguson on China-US relationships

      Interview with historian Niall Ferguson on China-US relationships

      For the past two years, China and the United States have locked horns in a trade war that has inevitably buffeted the world’s economy. On Wednesday, we saw a brief respite in the tension as a phase one deal was signed. Although the deal has limited scope, in signing it the PRC pledges to buy US$200 billion worth of goods and services from the United States and has committed not to manipulate its currency.

      Niall Ferguson teaches history and business at Harvard, Stanford and Oxford universities. His theories have made him a sometimes-controversial commentator. A prolific writer, he has focused on history, wars, the economy, and more. His bestsellers include “The Ascent of Money” and “Civilisation: The West and the Rest”. Both were turned into award-wining television shows. Last week, I sat down with him to talk about China-U.S. relations.

      18/01/2020
    • Wuhan pneumonia & discussion with doctor Owen Tsang of HA's Infectious Disease Centre & new district councillors in Tuen Mun

      Wuhan pneumonia & discussion with doctor Owen Tsang of HA's Infectious Disease Centre & new district councillors in Tuen Mun

      On the last day of 2019, mainland Chinese state media broke the news that a mysterious form of pneumonia had been spotted in Wuhan. The first case, it said, presented on 12th December. Here in Hong Kong the winter flu season tends to be at its worst between January and March, and apart from the major public health concerns, the virus is already placing more pressure on our strained public hospitals. Joining me to talk about what we know about the new virus so far is Owen Tsang, Medical Director of the Hospital Authority Infectious Disease Centre.

      Early last month, Chief Executive Carrie Lam held a meeting with ten defeated district councillors from the Federation of Trade Unions and apologised for their seismic losses in last November’s district council election. It was reported that she also promised them they’d be appointed to other government committees. A week or so later, she also met another group of former pro-establishment councillors at Government House to thank them for their service. While the CE was talking to those who were licking their wounds, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung tried to arrange a meeting at the beginning of the year with the newly elected, mostly pro-democrat, councillors. Instead, he was met with a mass boycott by over 200 of them, including members of the Democratic Party, the Civic Party and the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood. This week, many district councils held their first meetings since the November elections. Seventeen out of eighteen district councils are now dominated by pro-democrat councillors, mostly much younger than previous office holders. Is that going to be a game changer? In part two we look at the work of one new district council in Tuen Mun.

      *This episode is recorded on 10 Jan*

      11/01/2020
    • New Year's Day march & looking ahead into 2020 with Icarus Wong of Civil Rights Observer, DAB's Nixie Lam & Natalie Lai, the newly formed union, Standby Educators HK

      New Year's Day march & looking ahead into 2020 with Icarus Wong of Civil Rights Observer, DAB's Nixie Lam & Natalie Lai, the newly formed union, Standby Educators HK

      For Hongkongers, 2019 was a year of stress and conflict, and the year ended much in the way we have come to expect. An early warning came with the cancelation of the New Year firework display. And then those who ventured out to the streets in search of celebrations, found themselves sharing the thoroughfares and shopping malls with protesters and riot police. So, 2019 ended with protests in many districts. And just minutes into 2020, riot police greeted the New Year with tear gas and rubber bullets on Nathan Road. Later in the day the Civil Human Rights Front was ordered to end its annual New Year’s Day march, just three hours after it started. Although it had received a letter of no objection from the police, the organisers were told to disperse a very large number of demonstrators within 45 minutes.

      So what can we expect in the coming twelve months? With me to gaze into RTHK-supplied crystal balls are Icarus Wong, founder of Civil Rights Observer; Nixie Lam, a member of DAB; and Natalie Lai, committee member of the newly formed union, Standby Educators Hong Kong.

      04/01/2020
    • Education Bureau taking a harsh stance on teachers & Hongkongers 2019

      Education Bureau taking a harsh stance on teachers & Hongkongers 2019

      Hong Kong has been gripped by protests for over half the year, and with just a few days left before the new year dawns, it’s hard to find any sign that anything is going to change any time soon. Young people and students remain at the forefront of this wave of activism. Early this month Chief Executive Carrie Lam expressed concern about students and teachers taking part in the protests. Around 2,400 students from 300 secondary schools have been arrested. That represents roughly 40% of the total. Teachers also figure prominently among the arrested and the Education Bureau is taking a tough stance. With me is Ip Kin-yuen, the legislator representing the education constituency and Vice-president of Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union. We did invite pro-China lawmakers to join our discussion but they declined.

      As 2019 comes to close the police have arrested over 6,100 people and remanded over 1,600 in connection with the ongoing protests. Just 17% or so of those arrested have been charged. According to official figures, as of the end of September, Hong Kong’s prisons contained 5,739 inmates. So, given the size of the prison population and the potential for it to swelled as a result of this large number of arrests there’s a very real possibility of a severe strain on Hong Kong's correctional services. More than six months of protests in Hong Kong has had consequences that stretch far beyond the demonstrations themselves. For example, there’s been an upsurge in all kinds of civil society activities, changes in spending behaviour, altered relationships within families and between friends, increasing distrust of law enforcement, and greater pressures on both the judiciary and the notion of “One Country, Two Systems”.

      28/12/2019
    • Global protests in 2019: discussion with Forensic Architecture Eyal Weizman & the HK context through the eyes of a photographer, human rights observer & scholar

      Global protests in 2019: discussion with Forensic Architecture Eyal Weizman & the HK context through the eyes of a photographer, human rights observer & scholar

      In just ten days we will be welcoming 2020 and bidding farewell to 2019, a year of considerable turbulence not just for Hong Kong, but also for much of the rest of the world. People in more than 20 countries have taken to the streets to demand reforms and change. And those demands are widely shared covering a wide field of opposition to corruption, concern over inequality and injustice, demands for political autonomy, protests over policing and the need to address climate change – it’s all there.

      With the rise of authoritarianism in a growing number of countries, much of this unrest is being met with a harsh response. This week, producer Liz Yuen talked to Eyal Wiezman, the founding director of Forensic Architecture, a research agency at London’s Goldsmiths University that describes its work as undertaking spatial and media investigations in state and corporate violence, human rights violations, and environmental destruction.

      In a digitally linked world, the global wave of protests this year has been propelled by the use of social media and messaging apps. Four and a half billion people, many of them activists, are connected by the internet and technology such as encrypted-messaging software. Learning from the past, where leaders were arrested and persecuted, social movements have seen the benefit of not relying on visible leaders. Instead they are spearheaded by anonymous groups of young people. The internet also enables protesters from different countries to watch, and connect with, one another.

      21/12/2019
    • United Kingdom General Election 2019: discussion with Kenneth Chan & the expulsion of Indonesian domestic help, Yuli Riswati

      United Kingdom General Election 2019: discussion with Kenneth Chan & the expulsion of Indonesian domestic help, Yuli Riswati

      On Thursday the United Kingdom went to the polls for the third time in five years. Former Prime Minister Theresa May and current PM Boris Johnson both tried to get different versions of a Brexit deal approved in Parliament and failed. Both called snap elections in the hope of getting their version of Brexit through. Unlike May, Johnson looks set to get his way. It was perhaps one of the most crucial elections in recent decades, one that could change the whole direction and indeed composition of the United Kingdom – not for five years, but for generations. With me is Kenneth Chan, President of the Hong Kong Association for European Studies.

      According to official figures there are more than 390,000 domestic helpers in Hong Kong. The majority are from the Philippines and Indonesia. These migrant workers provide an important support system for many working families in Hong Kong. Although they are employed as domestic helpers, many are also tasked with childcare, tutoring and elderly care. Recently The Pulse reported on one domestic helper, Yuli Riswati, who took up the role of unpaid citizen journalist to keep her fellow Indonesian domestic helpers understand more about the city in which they live. Not long afterwards Yuli was detained by the Immigration Department and then expelled from Hong Kong.

      14/12/2019
    • Michael Davis & Tom Kellog on human rights and rule of law in HK & Stampede in Yau Ma Tei on 18th Nov

      Michael Davis & Tom Kellog on human rights and rule of law in HK & Stampede in Yau Ma Tei on 18th Nov

      "Freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration” are guaranteed in Article 35 of the People’s Republic of China’s constitution. But ironically, on Wednesday, two Hong Kong media organisations, Apple Daily and Stand News, were barred from participating in a celebration of the 37th anniversary of the 1982 Chinese constitution which was attended by about 700 people including members of the press. Just a day before, Chief Executive Carrie Lam strongly criticised the United States’ new Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, calling it unnecessary and unreasonable. Hong Kong, she said, has press freedom and a high degree of other freedoms. With me to talk about rule of law and human rights in Hong Kong are Tom Kellogg, Director of the Georgetown Centre for Asian Law and Michael Davis, Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre and previously, professor in the Law Faculty at Hong Kong University.

      Last Friday, the police finally returned control of the Polytechnic University campus to the institution’s management. The siege of the university campus lasted 12 days.
      On the evening of 18th November, thousands of people gathered in areas near the PolyU campus in the hope of somehow diverting police attention from those holed up inside. Late that night, as police and protesters clashed in Yau Ma Tei, more than 213 people were arrested, and over 30 were injured and taken to hospital. Eyewitnesses, including firefighters, say at least one human stampede took place. Police say they saw nothing.

      07/12/2019
    • District Council Election 2019 & discussion with Jean-Pierre Cabestan

      District Council Election 2019 & discussion with Jean-Pierre Cabestan

      There really is only one way of describing what happened in the early hours of Monday as ballot counting in the previous day’s district council elections revealed that an electoral tsunami had occurred resulting in a landslide win for pro-democracy candidates. Never before had so many people voted as over 71 per cent of the electorate, that’s 2.94 million people, turned out for the poll. Pro-democracy candidates took control of 17 out of 18 districts, with close to 400 out of the 452 seats. This left the pro-Beijing camp, which had previously controlled every single district council, with just seats 58 seats.

      And then, on Wednesday, against the backdrop of the trade war between China and the United States, civil unrest in Hong Kong and those election results, United States’ president Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Rights and Democracy Act and another law banning the sale of weaponry to Hong Kong. With me to talk about what that might mean, and the changing political landscape, is Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Professor of the Department of Government and International Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University.

      Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s initial public response to the election results on Tuesday was that she would seriously reflect on the views expressed and improve the administration’s governance. Later though, when asked whether her policies were a reason for the losses of the pro-Beijing camp, she said it wasn’t up to the government to interpret the results. Despite overwhelming demands, both locally and internationally, to set up an independent enquiry commission to look at the causes of civil unrest and police responses, Lam said she will instead set up an independent review committee. However, so far, no details are forthcoming.

      30/11/2019
    • High court ruling on anti-mask law & US congress passed HK rights bill, discussion with Martin Lee & Siege of PolyU

      High court ruling on anti-mask law & US congress passed HK rights bill, discussion with Martin Lee & Siege of PolyU

      On Monday, the High Court ruled that the anti-mask law introduced under emergency regulations in October is invalid and unconstitutional. It says it contravenes the Basic Law and restricts fundamental rights and freedoms. In response, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s Legislative Affairs Commission slammed the court’s ruling. It said only they could decide which laws comply with the Basic Law. The following day the government said it would ask the court to suspend implementation of its ruling pending appeal. And to add another layer to the current political crisis, on Wednesday, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed the United States’ House of Representatives, much to the anger of the Chinese Communist Party. On Friday, in response to the government's appeal against its earlier judgement, the High Court allowed the mask ban to remain in effect for seven more days. With me to talk about these issues is Martin Lee, barrister, politician and former member of the Hong Kong Basic Law Drafting Committee. I must add that we invited several pro-Beijing figures to join us. They all declined.

      Last Saturday, about 50 PLA soldiers marched out from their barracks in Kowloon Tong and started clearing debris in the nearby streets, close to the Baptist University. The army said the soldiers had volunteered for the clean-up. Over the past two weeks, protesters have occupied and blocked roads and tunnels close to several university campuses. That’s led to intense clashes with the police. Last Sunday, violence escalated between protesters and the police at the Polytechnic University, culminating in a siege and lockdown by police that left many people trapped on the campus. By Tuesday evening, thousands of demonstrators tried to save the protesters by staging other forms of protest in nearby streets. In response, police used a flash grenade against protesters in Yau Ma Tei. And two police vehicles were filmed apparently driving at speed into the crowd. It was reported that a stampede took place, leaving many injured.

      23/11/2019