Last week marked the nineth anniversary of our having moved to Mei Foo, or as some friends had said, the dark side with the prophecy that we would be moving back to the Hong Kong side anytime. Well, we didn’t and it doesn’t seem likely that we would, not in the near future, despite the fact that we have been rather active on the island side, visiting our clubs and for me having meetings and meals at Zetland Hall, and very recently for touch-ups of the flat at Conduit Road after the tenants had moved out. We didn’t have any specific or particular celebrations to mark the occasion, but as some friends had always been telling us, we celebrate life all the time at Mei Foo, and good food and wine.
We wouldn’t apologize for that; and why should we, anyway? So many things have been happening around us all the time. Take last week, for example, which began with some reckless shootings on July 4 in the Highland Park area in suburban Chicago when bullets were sprayed over an Independence Day parade, causing immediately six deaths and 30 injured. Then we heard the repeated refrains from Boris Johnson that he would stay firm at his job, but only to hear from him by mid-week that he had decided to resign after some 50 had resigned from his tattered government. And on July 7, the world witnessed the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in broad daylight while he was making a speech, which some insensitive bloggers remarked as poetic justice. There can be no justice gained from violence, which only begets more violence. Closer to home, the new government announced on Thursday to drop the policy on flight bans with immediate effect, which was hailed by the travel industry as long overdue. Meanwhile, press reports from the West began to drum up accusations that the counsels for Jimmy Lai had been threatened without offering any shred of evidence, while the shameless remarks from the likes of Johnson and Patten on one country, two systems had attracted an intelligent and well-worded Open Letter to the British Prime Minister from Grenville Cross, carried by China Daily on July 8. The Senior Counsel & Professor of Law ended his letter with the hope that he could personally give a full briefing to Johnson or his successor on the truth about Hong Kong, adding that it is “in the British national interest that there should be a correct understanding of the situation in Hong Kong, and for there to be a healthier relationship with China.” I urge anyone with a clear and unbiased mind and who has an interest in the good of Hong Kong to have a read of the letter. Here is the link.
Hong Kong certainly needs more the like of Grenville Cross who speaks without fear or favour and who always speaks the truth. Our new Chief Executive said he would talk to people abroad directly. Maybe he should consider inviting him on these trips as well as other people with no immediate personal interest in Hong Kong. He has given his ministers 100 days to come up with work plans, which won’t be easy for either side. Take housing, for example, we see Winnie Ho, the new Housing Secretary visiting tenants of sub-divided flats, but I also note from today’s SCMP that the field trip was arranged by the Society for Community Organisation which is known to be one with very specific plans and objectives aligned with the Pan Democrats. I have always held personal and strong views on people in sub-divided flats, having grown up in such environment before and having witnessed how many people had worked themselves out of poverty, not with the help of any government or community organisations, but through sheer hard work, determination and self-reliance. I have discussed this point in my memoir; and I would urge the Housing Minister to look into the matter carefully and from different perspectives, instead of just taking in what she had been led to see in the field trip.
Today is the hottest day so far this year. We happened to be out at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre attending an exhibition on cultures of various provinces of China organized by the Home Affairs Department; and it was my first visit to the CEC MTR Station. I would sign off for now.