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    監製:Diana Wan

    19/03/2021

    Three days after the National People’s Congress decided to enact electoral reforms for Hong Kong, mainland officials came to Hong Kong with the stated aim of hearing views from more than 1,000 people. The deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Zhang Xiaoming said that pan-democrats were among attendees at the 60 seminars earlier in the week. He didn’t identify who they were but said that participants backed the reforms as being necessary and timely. During the “Two Sessions” meetings in Beijing last week, one of three co-founders of the newly formed Bauhinia Party, Li Shan said his party aims to take part in “every aspect of Hong Kong’s governance” and elections. On Wednesday, I sat down with another of the party’s founder, Charles Wong, to find out more.

    According to government data, there were 20.9 million mobile telephone subscribers in Hong Kong in 2020. More than half were using pre-paid SIM cards, sometimes for flexibility and convenience. However, there are those who use them for illegal activities. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau says there is a “pressing need to plug this loophole”, to prevent people from using mobile phones for crimes such as human smuggling, drug trafficking, technology crimes, and even acts of terrorism.


    聯絡: wanyt@rthk.hk


    集數

    EPISODES
    • Covid-19 mutant variants & quarantine arrangement in HK discussion: Gilman Siu & Paul Zimmerman; testing & vaccination requirement for foreign domestic helpers

      Covid-19 mutant variants & quarantine arrangement in HK discussion: Gilman Siu & Paul Zimmerman; testing & vaccination requirement for foreign domestic helpers

      Last Saturday, police arrested two people, an Indian engineer and his girlfriend, for giving the authorities misleading and insufficient information about their contact history to health authorities after the Centre for Health Protection managed to trace the couple’s movements. They have both been charged with offences under the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation. Interest in this case is high because the man who was charged entered Hong Kong from Dubai in March. He is the first person in Hong Kong to be confirmed as having the N501Y variant of the Covid-19 virus. His girlfriend contracted the same variant. Fears of the spread of this variant by their contacts led to more than 2,000 people being placed in quarantine. With us to talk about the mutant strains and the government’s quarantine arrangements are Gilman Siu of the Department of Health Technology and Informatics at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Paul Zimmerman, district councillor of Southern District, representing the Pokfulam constituency.

      March 21 was the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This year, the Equal Opportunities Commission and Caritas held an online forum, “Looking Beyond the Pandemic” to talk about racial equality, inclusion, and the impact of Covid-19 on Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities. Those taking part in the seminar said there’s still a lot to be done to bridge racial divides in Hong Kong. Fears over the spread of Covid-19 among domestic helpers, and the government’s initial insistence on mandatory tests and vaccinations for foreign domestic helpers have led to accusations of racial discrimination.

      14/05/2021
    • India's second Covid-19 wave & interview with Surabhi Chopra on its impact on India

      India's second Covid-19 wave & interview with Surabhi Chopra on its impact on India

      Last Thursday, Hong Kong recorded the first local infections of the highly transmissible Covid-19 N501Y mutant strain. The first known cases involve a domestic helper and a 10-month-old baby in her care from a residential building in Tung Chung. Thousands of residents of that residential block were sent to quarantine. The government has since demanded that more than 370,000 foreign domestic helpers be tested for Covid-19 by this Sunday. With more variant cases being recorded, health experts warn that mutant strains are spreading in the community. Some caution the government against relaxing quarantine requirements for incoming travellers, which could – they worry - trigger a fifth wave of infections. Meanwhile, scientists at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University recently discovered that at least ten cases imported from India to Hong Kong in early April, involved the so-called double-mutant strain that is ravaging India. The Pulse has been talking to people on the frontline in Delhi to gain a first-hand impression of the effects of the latest wave of Covid-19.

      With us to talk more about why India’s second wave of Covid-19 is so devastating and its impact on India, is Surabhi Chopra, associate professor at the Faculty of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

      07/05/2021
    • Changes to the Companies Register with David Webb & Ricky Chim and relocation of pets

      Changes to the Companies Register with David Webb & Ricky Chim and relocation of pets

      In mid-2006, the government initiated what it described as a “comprehensive rewrite” of the Companies Ordinance with the aim of modernising Hong Kong’s company law. In March 2014 the new Companies Ordinance came into effect. It has been described as one of the longest and most complex pieces of legislation enacted in Hong Kong. Much of the discussion around the legislation was about striking a balance between satisfying the public need to access information and the need to protect the privacy of company directors and secretaries. Voices from the banking sector, financial industries, media, unions, and other professional groups strongly opposed limiting access to personal information on the Companies Register. In 2013, the government shelved plans to do this. But eight years later, new legislation has again surfaced which will limit access to information on the Company’s register, as a way of enhancing privacy.

      In a survey last October by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at Chinese University more than 43% of respondents said they would emigrate if they had the chance. Of those who want to leave, 35% said they had taken steps to prepare for the move. Census and Statistics Department figures released in February this year show that Hong Kong’s population is down 0.6% from 2019. The department says there has been a net outflow of 39,800 people, and that factors contributing to this outflow include work and study, which are conceptually different from immigration and emigration. But whether those leaving are choosing to move for work, study, or emigration purposes, many are finding themselves faced with hard choices to make regarding their pets.

      30/04/2021
    • Interview with John Burns on Covid-19 and governance & DSE Examination this year

      Interview with John Burns on Covid-19 and governance & DSE Examination this year

      It’s been more than a year since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and despite some signs of optimism, the general situation remains volatile and unpredictable.
      Hong Kong’s average number of daily new cases has dropped to single digits, and restrictions have been relaxed. But then after the long holiday early this month, there was an increase in both local and imported cases. Last week, the government introduced a “vaccine bubble” for those who’ve been inoculated in the hope of boosting slow vaccination take up rates and with the hope of reviving a sluggish economy. It also expanded the vaccination programme to people aged 16 to 29.
      But it’s hard to predict what will happen as was seen last Saturday when Hong Kong saw its first imported case of the more infectious N501Y mutation, also known as the South African variant. So far, three major coronavirus variants have been found in the city. To talk about Hong Kong’s responses to Covid19 from a governance and economic perspective is John Burns, Emeritus Professor & Honorary Professor, Dept. of Politics and Public Administration of the University of Hong Kong.

      Covid-19 has had a considerable impact on the education sector. Face-to-face classes in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, and universities and colleges have been suspended several times. Most have adopted online teaching since last year. Even though face-to-face classes gradually resumed in February, it is a far cry from a general return to in person teaching. This has made life difficult, both physically and psychologically, for many students taking this month’s Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exams.

      23/04/2021
    • Hong Kong electoral changes: interview with Thomas So & audio description services for the visually impaired

      Hong Kong electoral changes: interview with Thomas So & audio description services for the visually impaired

      On Tuesday, the government unveiled more details of the proposed changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system. The Improving Electoral System Bill includes dividing the current five geographical constituencies in the Legislative Council election into ten constituencies, adding a “special queue” for the elderly and voters in need, introducing an electronic poll register, and criminalising acts such as inciting others not to vote, or to cast blank or invalid ballots. To talk more about the changes to Hong Kong’s electoral systems is Thomas So, member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and former president of the Law Society of Hong Kong.

      It’s only relatively recently that some public entertainment venues and recreational facilities have reopened after long closures due to social distancing rules to reduce Covid-19 infections.
      Over the recent long weekend, many took full advantage of the restored freedoms to pack Hong Kong’s country parks and beaches. Cinemas and auditoriums have also reopened. But the restrictions forced on us by the pandemic have had a negative effect on places of entertainment, as on so many businesses, and that’s led to the closure of one cinema chain. That may be particularly bad news for people with visual impairments who rely on narrated descriptive soundtracks, not just for movies, but also for other forms of entertainment and recreation.

      16/04/2021
    • Interview with Maria Tam on changes in Hong Kong electoral systems

      Interview with Maria Tam on changes in Hong Kong electoral systems

      Chief Executive Carrie Lam says that with three elections to be held in the coming year under the new electoral rules, the government is making every effort to accelerate the task of amending more than 20 pieces of primary and subsidiary legislation. On Thursday this week, the Chief executive said the amendment bill will be tabled to the Legislative Council next Wednesday. Earlier in the week, the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang said the government is also considering regulations to prevent people from casting blank votes or calling on others to do so. With me to talk more about the changes to Hong Kong’s electoral systems is Maria Tam, vice-chair of the Basic Law Committee.

      09/04/2021
    • Interview with Adrian Ho, founder of SaveHK & latest in Myanmar

      Interview with Adrian Ho, founder of SaveHK & latest in Myanmar

      On Tuesday, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee unanimously passed legislation amend Hong Kong’s electoral system. The new laws covers the selection of the Chief Executive, the formation of the Election Committee and a wholesale reform of the composition and election system for the Legislative Council. The number of seats in the Election Committee are to be increased to 1,500. That 117 seats from district councils have been removed. The committee will also take on a new role: electing 40 members to the Legislative Council, the size of which will be increased from 70 to 90 seats. The number of directly elected members will shrink, from 35 to 20. Anyone running for Chief Executive, the Legislative Council or the Election Committee will have to be vetted by the Hong Kong Committee for Safeguarding National Security with the assistance of the National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force. While the emphasis is on “patriots administering Hong Kong”, Chief Executive Carrie Lam says people who hold different political beliefs will still be able to run for election as long as they meet basic requirements. Earlier, I talked to Adrian Ho, founder of the social media group, SaveHK about the changing political landscape.

      The United Nations Security Council said on Wednesday that since the coup in Myanmar two months ago, more than 520 people have been killed. It warned of the risk of civil war and an imminent “bloodbath”. That same day, Myanmar’s junta declared a one-month ceasefire with ethnic armed groups. However, it said it would continue to curb “actions that disrupt government security and administration”.

      02/04/2021
    • Anti-Asian violence and racism in USA: story from NYC & discussion: Jason Coe of HKBU & Grace Ting of HKU

      Anti-Asian violence and racism in USA: story from NYC & discussion: Jason Coe of HKBU & Grace Ting of HKU

      Last Tuesday, a lone gunman attacked three spas in Atlanta, Georgia and killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women. These murders have again brought to the fore concerns about complex and deep-rooted prejudice against Asians in the United States. The New York Police Department says that there were roughly nine times as many hate crimes against Asian-Americans in 2020 as in 2019. Activists and police officials say that many other incidents of this kind were not classified as hate crimes or were not even reported, not just in New York but across the country. Man Yuntong, reporting for The Pulse from New York, has been talking to members of the Asian-American community.

      26/03/2021
    • Interview with Co-founder of Bauhinia Party Charles Wong & SIM card real-name registration consultation

      Interview with Co-founder of Bauhinia Party Charles Wong & SIM card real-name registration consultation

      Three days after the National People’s Congress decided to enact electoral reforms for Hong Kong, mainland officials came to Hong Kong with the stated aim of hearing views from more than 1,000 people. The deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Zhang Xiaoming said that pan-democrats were among attendees at the 60 seminars earlier in the week. He didn’t identify who they were but said that participants backed the reforms as being necessary and timely. During the “Two Sessions” meetings in Beijing last week, one of three co-founders of the newly formed Bauhinia Party, Li Shan said his party aims to take part in “every aspect of Hong Kong’s governance” and elections. On Wednesday, I sat down with another of the party’s founder, Charles Wong, to find out more.

      According to government data, there were 20.9 million mobile telephone subscribers in Hong Kong in 2020. More than half were using pre-paid SIM cards, sometimes for flexibility and convenience. However, there are those who use them for illegal activities. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau says there is a “pressing need to plug this loophole”, to prevent people from using mobile phones for crimes such as human smuggling, drug trafficking, technology crimes, and even acts of terrorism.

      19/03/2021
    • Hong Kong elections reform discussion: Ambrose Lau & Emily Lau

      Hong Kong elections reform discussion: Ambrose Lau & Emily Lau

      Hello, and welcome to The Pulse.

      It’s hardly news to say that there’s been an avalanche of changes in Hong Kong since the introduction of the National Security Law. Beijing has made it clear that it is determined to fully implement the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong”. Part of this process is to “plug the loopholes” in the electoral and political systems. According to Wang Chen, the Vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, what is required is to have a “democratic election system with Hong Kong characteristics”. With us are Ambrose Lau, former standing committee member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Emily Lau of the Democratic Party.

      12/03/2021