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RTHK's English-language current affairs programme that takes "The Pulse" of Hong Kong ... and the world around it.

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    RTHK's English-language current affairs programme that takes "The Pulse" of Hong Kong ... and the world around it.

    "The Pulse" is presented by locally and internationally known journalist and writer Steve Vines.

    Its focus? The latest events and trends that affect Hong Kong - from the corridors of power and business boardrooms, to the streets and dai pai dongs.

    "The Pulse" is politics. What's happening in the Legislative Council and on the streets right now.

    "The Pulse" is the media, informing us how well or badly our press and broadcast organisations diagnose and reflect the society around us.

    "The Pulse" is insightful, in-depth reports and interviews on current issues - examining those issues in depth, looking behind and beyond the news.

    Its focus is on the timely. The Now.

    Keep your eye ... and your finger ... on "The Pulse".

    If you want to discuss anything you've seen in "The Pulse", or anything in the public eye right now, or just to talk about the show, why not join in the debate on our Facebook page, RTHK's The Pulse. 

    The programme is aired every Saturday on RTHK 31 & 31A at 00:00-00:30, and a repeat at 18:00-18:30. TVB Pearl on Saturday Morning at 08:30-09:00

    Archive available later after broadcast. ** Please note that the programme air-time on TV is different with webcast time.



    Find us on Facebook: RTHK's The Pulse

    最新

    LATEST
    27/05/2017

    Same-sex marriage & East Lantau Metropolis

    On Wednesday Taiwan’s highest court ruled, in a landmark decision, in favour of same-sex marriage. That decision means that Taiwan will become the first place in Asia to legalise marriages of this kind despite the opposition of conservative groups in Taiwan who have argued – among other things – that acceptance of homosexuality is not Chinese. Meanwhile in Hong Kong the gay community has a far longer way to go to achieve equality before the law. With me in the studio are legislator, Priscilla Leung and Felix Yuen, Co-ordinator of Amnesty International’s LGBT group.

    For many Hongkongers, Lantau Island is a breath of fresh air. 54% of it is occupied by country parks. It is home to rare species such as Romer’s Tree Frog, and ecologically important sites such as montane forest, woodland, coastal waters and uncontaminated streams. There are also eight Sites of Special Scientific Interest where development is not permitted, as well as five declared monuments, five graded historical buildings, 57 archaeological sites and over 20 temples. There are now fears that a planned development of nearby Kau Yi Chau to become the East Lantau Metropolis could put this rich heritage at risk.

    重温

    CATCHUP
    03 - 05
    2017
    RTHK 31
    • Same-sex marriage & East Lantau Metropolis

      Same-sex marriage & East Lantau Metropolis

      On Wednesday Taiwan’s highest court ruled, in a landmark decision, in favour of same-sex marriage. That decision means that Taiwan will become the first place in Asia to legalise marriages of this kind despite the opposition of conservative groups in Taiwan who have argued – among other things – that acceptance of homosexuality is not Chinese. Meanwhile in Hong Kong the gay community has a far longer way to go to achieve equality before the law. With me in the studio are legislator, Priscilla Leung and Felix Yuen, Co-ordinator of Amnesty International’s LGBT group.

      For many Hongkongers, Lantau Island is a breath of fresh air. 54% of it is occupied by country parks. It is home to rare species such as Romer’s Tree Frog, and ecologically important sites such as montane forest, woodland, coastal waters and uncontaminated streams. There are also eight Sites of Special Scientific Interest where development is not permitted, as well as five declared monuments, five graded historical buildings, 57 archaeological sites and over 20 temples. There are now fears that a planned development of nearby Kau Yi Chau to become the East Lantau Metropolis could put this rich heritage at risk.

      27/05/2017
    • UGL Legco Select Committee, HA's Drugs Formulary

      UGL Legco Select Committee, HA's Drugs Formulary

      Do we dare say it? - Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has threatened newspapers, a political commentator and even a legislator with legal action for talking about his HK$50 million payment from the Australian firm UGL. An 11-member Legislative Council committee has been set up to look into the matter. It’s expected to take 14 months to investigate. In a meeting on Monday members of the committee were informed of an unexpected intervention. With me in the studio is former Secretary for the Civil Service and professor, Joseph Wong.

      It can be expensive to be ill in Hong Kong. Much of that expense may be the drugs you need for treatment. Prices vary not only between private and public hospitals and clinics, but depending on the pharmaceutical. Last month, a single mother suffering from a serious disease pleaded to Legco for help in getting treatment. A week later she died. That’s given rise to increased discussion about medication that’s not government subsidised as it’s not included in the Hospital Authority’s Drug Formulary.

      20/05/2017
    • Medical blunder involving liver transplant patient Tang Kai-sze & HKTB's

      Medical blunder involving liver transplant patient Tang Kai-sze & HKTB's "Old Town Central"

      Our public hospitals are severely stretched. Lawmakers and watchdogs have long criticised the government for prioritising spending on infrastructure and capital projects over health care. The public health sector is short of staff and sinking due to overcrowding. The average consultation time for a public doctor’s appointment is now down to six minutes. And patient concern groups are saying that the recent high profile medical blunder in the treatment of liver transplant patient, Tang Kwai-sze, reveals just the tip of the iceberg. With me in the studio are legislator and doctor Kwok Ka-ki and Chiu Chun-ming, President of Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Hong Kong.

      What do tourists want? A self-proclaimed “shopping paradise”? An equally self-proclaimed “Asia’s World City”? Natural wonders? Or maybe a little bit of cultural heritage?
      Or maybe not as the Hong Kong government seems increasingly careless over heritage preservation: The country parks are under threat of property development, and you’ll need to look hard in the cracks between the high rises to find any material reminders of Hong Kong’s cultural history. Despite that, the Tourism Board is inviting visitors to visit “Old Town Central”. They’d better hurry.

      There’ve been plenty of ups and downs in world politics this week. For now, France has said no to isolationism and racism and elected the centrist former banker Emmanuel Macron as president. South Korea’s new president is a left-leaning liberal and human rights lawyer Moon Jae-in. Meanwhile things continue to spiral in the USA, as President Donald Trump fired the FBI director James Comey, the man investigating his campaign for ties to Russia. And he did so partly on the advice of Attorney General Jeff Sessions who’d had to recuse himself from that same investigation due to a conflict of interest. Outrage has followed, as the White House struggles to get its story straight. Something we have less problem with at The Pulse, so in that spirit we’ll see you next week. Goodbye.

      13/05/2017
    • Disney expansion & the

      Disney expansion & the "sharing economy"

      Hong Kong has a poor record for supporting the elderly poor, has limited resources for the public health service, and when it comes to housing for the less well-off, well, let’s say that seems to be on the too hard list but there’s always public money for Mickey Mouse. Hong Kong Disneyland has been controversial from the start. Even though Hong Kong’s coffers covered more than 80% of the initial 23 billion dollar cost of the project, the government has just a 57% share in the joint venture. There was even more controversy when, despite the hefty injection of public money, the park initially refused to release attendance figures. They were not spectacular. It has turned a profit for only three of its first eleven years in operation. Now Disney wants to expand and it wants Hong Kong to help pay for it. And here’s where we enter the magical kingdom of Hong Kong government studies and pixie dust: according to Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So, a “risk test” shows the city could lose up to 31.6 billion dollars over 40 years if it doesn’t spend HK$5.45 billion right now.

      Mobile apps, the rise of the digital economy, and the financial crisis, all played a part in the flourishing of what’s been called, not always entirely accurately, the “sharing economy”. This incudes businesses such as Uber and Lyft, as well as other “collaborative consumption” models like Kickstarter, Etsy and Airbnb. Many of these businesses involve sharing goods and services, but critics say that when they label themselves as examples of the shared economy, they are in reality operating on traditional profit models, making companies like Uber akin to a wolf in sheep‘s clothing. All the same, there’s no denying that these innovations are challenging traditional businesses. And that doesn’t make them universally popular.

      So what will it take to achieve the so-called “great reconciliation” to end the rift in our society? Democratic Party leader Wu Chi-wai was quickly shouted down when he suggested that in-coming Chief Executive Carrie Lam should pardon Occupy Central protesters and the eight police officers jailed for their over zealousness in handling the protest. Liberal Party leader Felix Chong suggested a roundtable involving both sides. And then on Thursday, some pan-democratic and pro-establishment lawmakers sat down for a lunch initiated by DAB chairwoman Starry Lee. Goodness knows what they ate but we do know that the Pulse will be back next week. Goodbye.

      06/05/2017
    • Greater Bay Area & the rise of nano flats

      Greater Bay Area & the rise of nano flats

      Hong Kong’s property prices are notoriously high. The annual US-based Demographia global housing affordability survey has ranked it as ‘terrible’ for the seventh consecutive year, and ranks Hong Kong as the world’s least affordable urban centre in which to buy a home. And no, it’s not an illusion, those homes really are shrinking. The average living area per person in Hong Kong has shrunk by almost 30% from 67.6 square feet to 47.8 square feet. And if the old shoeboxes were not snug enough, we now have the so-called nano flats.

      The people who run the government have however come up with a new housing solution: they’re saying if Hongkongers can’t afford Hong Kong, they should go live in the mainland, or more precisely the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. That’s the advice from outgoing Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Financial Secretary Paul Chan. With us in the studio are Lau Ping-cheung non-official member of the Economic Development Commission, and chairman of the Liberal Party, Felix Chon.

      29/04/2017
    • North Korea tensions & HK-Zhuhai-Macau bridge causalties

      North Korea tensions & HK-Zhuhai-Macau bridge causalties

      Fears of global military conflicts and wars have risen since Donald Trump took office as US president. So far, when not conducting foreign “diplomacy” by Twitter, he’s launched 59 missiles at Syria, dropped the “Mother of All Bombs” on Afghanistan, and taken a tough line on North Korea and its provocative missile tests. From the other side of the Pacific, North Korea has said, worrying even the People’s Republic of China, that it will test missiles every week if it wants, and threatened, “all out war” if it needs to retaliate. WIth us in the studio to talk about it is Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Head of Department of Government and International Studies of Baptist University.

      Ever wondered where our tax dollars go? Well, according to the government, infrastructural projects, many referred to by those less prone to cheerleading as “white elephants”, top expenditure, followed by education, social welfare and health. HK$100 billion is earmarked for such projects in this year’s Budget. One of the grandest is the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge. Critics have called it the “bridge to nowhere”, and not long after it’s completed it’s going to face competition from a new 24-km. bridge over the Pearl River Delta linking Zhongshan and Shenzhen. There are murmurs in some quarters that the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai bridge isn’t going to be ready for commissioning, as scheduled, by the end of the year. The government insists it will, although there will still be some elements to complete. It’s 34 years since Hopewell Holdings founder Gordon Wu first suggested the idea. Agreements on funding were reached between Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland in 2008, and – inevitably – as with all such long running projects, it’s going to end up costing more than was planned. We have no idea of the safety record of the project on the mainland side, but in Hong Kong there’s been a considerable human cost, in terms of both injuries and death.

      22/04/2017
    • Michael Tien leaving NPP, Mismanagement in Tin Ma Court & Brazilian meat ban

      Michael Tien leaving NPP, Mismanagement in Tin Ma Court & Brazilian meat ban

      Bbreaking up is hard to do. Just ask Michael Tien and Regina Ip. We talk to Tien his reasons for leaving New People's Party.

      Since it took over most of the commercial assets in Hong Kong’s public housing estates from the Housing Authority, The Link REIT has been Asia’s biggest REIT.
      It took in some HK$4,608 million in revenue just last year. Its decisions have sometimes been controversial, with small shopkeepers and caterers arguing that attempts to upgrade malls and markets have forced them out of business in favour of big chains and increased rents. But while many are not happy with what can happen when The Link is in charge, there can also be problems when it sells its less profitable properties. Since 2014, it has sold 28. For tenants of one, in Wong Tai Sin’s Tin Ma Shopping Centre, that has not brought improvements.

      "Meat Free Mondays” may be making inroads, but most Hongkongers are champion carnivores and proud of it. We’re also the biggest market for beef from Brazil, importing more than US$178 million worth last year. So it’s no surprise that the country’s recent food safety scandal, and the Hong Kong government’s temporary partial banning of Brazilian beef, has had plenty of reverberations.

      15/04/2017
    • Vote-rigging in IT FC, Mark Pinkstone & Charles Mok to talk about CE election & solid waste charge

      Vote-rigging in IT FC, Mark Pinkstone & Charles Mok to talk about CE election & solid waste charge

      whether it’s elections for legislators or Chief Executive, Beijing seems to be getting actively involved in Hong Kong’s democratic process, and that does not bode well for the apparently increasingly moth-eaten principle of “One Country, Two Systems”. Following on from such earlier phenomena as the bussing of people from elderly homes and free seafood dinners, there were also overt, ahem, “recommendations” which way to vote in the Chief Executive election last month, and the ICAC recently arrested 72 people for alleged vote-rigging during last’s years Legco election. With us in the studio are Mark Pinkstone, chief information officer for Regina Ip’s chief executive election campaign and Charles Mok of the Professionals Commons.

      The average Hongkonger throws out about 1.39kg of household waste each day. Each year, we sent more than six million tons of it to our landfills. Thanks to our consumption-led lifestyle, our municipal solid waste has increased by over 80% over the past 30 years. In 2014, the government set a target to slash that figure by 40% per cent by 2022. And one way is to charge us for being wasteful.

      08/04/2017
    • Carrie Lam as CE: discussion with Ronny Tong & Rachel Cartland, OC arrest & REO lost laptops

      Carrie Lam as CE: discussion with Ronny Tong & Rachel Cartland, OC arrest & REO lost laptops

      After months of speculation over which way Beijing would finally declare the wind should blow, last Sunday provided little surprise. Former Chief Secretary Carrie Lam is to be Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive. Unlike Leung Chun-ying, who won with just 689 votes in 2012, Mrs Lam managed to garner 777. Her rivals, former Financial Secretary John Tsang, had 365 votes leaving Woo Kwok-hing, with just 12. Several electors from both pro-establishment and pro-democracy camps reported that they had received calls from the Liaison Office and other middlemen “familiar with the Chinese side” telling them precisely what Beijing expected them to do. With us in the studio are Convenor of Path of Democracy Ronny Tong and former assistant director of social welfare, Rachel Cartland.

      Carrie Lam may have received 88 more small-circle votes than her predecessor Leung Chun-ying, but according to most polls she’ll be taking up her position with a much lower popularity rating than Mr Leung when he came into office. One reason is that she was running against a considerably more popular opponent.
      Given that Beijing representatives had made their preferences pretty clear, the insistence on installing Mrs Lam has been interpreted as a sign of a continued hard line stance towards Hong Kong. That impression intensified when, the day after the election, the police arrested and charged three main leaders of, and six key participants in, the 2014 Occupy Central movement. And that wasn’t the only sensitive post-election development. The Registration and Electoral Office also revealed that on Sunday two laptop computers, at least one of which contained personal data of all Hong Kong voters, had been stolen.

      01/04/2017
    • CE Election & special needs dental care

      CE Election & special needs dental care

      On Sunday, 1,194 members of the Election Committee will cast their vote for Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive. And the winner will be …. Well, let’s put it this way – it will be no surprise. Over the past week, the three candidates, Carrie Lam, John Tsang and Woo Kwok-hing, appeared together in two forums to state their cases. With us in the studio are Liberal Party leader Felix Chung, and Ip Kin-yuen, Vice-convenor of the Professional Guild.

      When all is going well, we tend to pay little attention to our teeth. When problems arise toothache is a right pain. To avoid this requires dental care, and oral health also impacts eating, the digestive system, speech, appearance and social acceptance. It is, in other words, an important part of the quality of life. Yet, it’s easily neglected.
      For those who can’t afford private treatment, Hong Kong has just eleven government dental health clinics. Hong Kong island has just one. But the situation is worse for people with disabilities which is why a pilot scheme was launched to help them. Although this scheme proved to be successful it may soon be shut down.

      25/03/2017
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