I just don't know to make of the ongoing farce that is sugar-coated as the “election campaign” for the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Surely, this should be an important event for the citizens as the performance of the person in charge of the region has a lot of bearing on their fortune. But with China orchestrating everything behind the scene, who will be the candidates and who will be “elected” are completely out of our hands. At the end of the day, the 1,200-strong electoral committee would only install a puppet who is entirely submissive to Beijing and serves only the interests of the privileged and not those of the Hong Kong people. Seen from this light, the recent prelude to the “election”, in which the candidates scampered to kick start their campaigns, is completely irrelevant to us. The cheap show, in which they seize every opportunity to build image and sneak a dig at their rivals, is not for us but for the hands that feed them.
A friend of mine likes to talk about “active listening”, which is carefully listening to what is said and paying attention to what is unsaid. Let us, then, actively listen to what one of the candidates recently pledged for the underprivileged: “Let the underprivileged practically feel the warmth brought forth by the economic development.” The key messages appear to be: (1) economic development is the priority; (2) economic development is beneficial; (3) it does not have to be the government actively fending for the underprivileged, the latter should be able to reap the benefits of economic development; (4) nothing concrete is promised or should be expected, just “warmth”; and (5) nothing is mentioned about how to bridge gaps or help the unprivileged help themselves. So this candidate is not only telling the underprivileged to know and stick to their places but also, more crucially, those in power about how the unprivileged will be treated should he be elected.
This statement sums up the misfortune of the Hong Kong people, which is that our future is not in our own hands but in those of these opportunists who wouldn’t have any qualms about betraying us.