In March of this year, View from the Peak hosted a special edition Expert Series Interview with T.L. Tsim from the Project Citizen’s Foundation to discuss the future of Hong Kong politics and why it matters for the region. The interview was held at an opportune time as last weekend Hong Kong voted for a new Chief Executive, the fourth since the 1997 Handover. As expected, Ms. Carrie Lam, Beijing's favoured candidate, was elected by the Election Committee, a group of 1,163 members consisting primarily of business leaders sympathetic to the Chinese Government. The Committee which represents .03% of Hong Kong’s eligible voters cast 777 votes for Ms. Lam, 365 for former finance chief Mr. John Tsang and 21 votes for retired judge, Mr. Woo Kwok-hing. Ms. Lam enters office at a challenging time for Hong Kong with increased scrutiny from China and deep discontent from the local population on issues such as income inequality, the high cost of housing, and the perceived loss of political freedom. How she manages this environment may have an impact on what Hong Kong looks like as we approach 2047 when Hong Kong fully reverts to Chinese rule.
Having lived through the Handover, no one of could have even imagined at the time, the heavy handed way that Beijing deals with dissent. There was a utopian view that China would morph towards the HK way of life. How wrong we were!! My discussion with T.L. remains one of my favourite Expert Series discussion. A brilliant mind!