监制:Diana Wan


    Chief Executive Carrie Lam says the introduction of the National Security Law has been “remarkably effective in restoring stability”. Meanwhile, Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said last month that more reforms will be needed in several areas including the SAR’s mini constitution, the judicial system, national education, something called “oath optimisation” and “qualification screening” for civil servants. Article 137 of the Basic Law guarantees that education institutions will retain their autonomy and enjoy academic freedom. Article 4 of the National Security Law says it will respect and guarantee HK people’s human rights and freedoms under the Basic Law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In light of all this we talked to some academics about where we are now – after the introduction of the National Security Law.

    After more than a month of abortive legal actions and recounting of votes in last month’s US presidential election Donald Trump is still refusing to concede. Yet the Electoral College affirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s win on Monday. Biden received 306 electoral college votes, 36 more than the 270 he needed to win. Donald Trump received 232. In terms of the popular vote, Biden defeated Trump by more than seven million votes. But what are the long-term effects of Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome? And where does this leave the growing political divide in America. In the second episode of our “Long Time No Chat” mini-series, we look at some of the effects of politics on human relationships in the United States and here in Hong Kong.

    联络: wanyt@rthk.hk


    • Budget & discussion with: Kevin Tsui & John Marrett; tenancy control of subdivided units

      Budget & discussion with: Kevin Tsui & John Marrett; tenancy control of subdivided units

      On Wednesday, Financial Secretary Paul Chan delivered his Budget for the coming year. In the midst of a pandemic and with the jobless rate at 7%, the highest in 17 years, many Hongkongers were hoping for decisive measures to help them through this difficult time. But it seems as though they were disappointed. In an instant survey conducted on the day by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Program, respondents gave the Budget just 36.4 marks out of 100. To talk about the Budget are Kevin Tsui, an economist from the University of Hong Kong, and John Marrett, a senior analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

      Despite the pandemic and profound socio-political tensions in Hong Kong, one thing hasn’t changed – Hong Kong’s property prices. The latest CBRE Global Living 2020 report names Hong Kong as the most expensive property market, with the average price of a residential property at US1.25 million. In terms of housing supply, this year’s Budget has little to offer. The average waiting time for public housing has risen to 5.7 years, a record high. It’s estimated that just 101,400 units will be completed in the coming five years. Meanwhile for years there have been calls for the government to re-introduce rent controls, particularly for low-income tenants. But officials have resolutely turned a deaf ear.

    • Interview with Simon Wong on relaxation of social-distancing rules in restaurants & US elections: Georgia

      Interview with Simon Wong on relaxation of social-distancing rules in restaurants & US elections: Georgia

      Hello and welcome to The Pulse coming to you in a rather different format matching the rather strange times we are now facing, not least for some of us who have been working at RTHK’s Television House where a hair stylist was found to have contracted Covid-19 resulting in over 20 people being detained in the decidedly spartan Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre. And so, for the first and hopefully, only time I am hosting the Pulse from here while colleagues on the ‘outside’ have been scrambling to put this show together. Meanwhile after three months of stringent social distancing, yesterday the government relaxed restrictions on restaurant dine-in services and allowed some venues such as gyms, cinemas and beauty parlours to reopen, but there are conditions. To talk about this issue With me, at least virtually, is Simon Wong, President of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurant and Related Trades.

      Donald Trump might have escaped a second impeachment, but he still faces a great many legal problems and investigations . Prosecutors in New York are looking into his business dealings. In Washington, federal prosecutors said “nothing is off the table” in terms of further investigation of Trump’s role in the January 6th insurrection at Capitol Hill. And officials in Georgia have also opened two new investigations into the former President’s attempt to intervene in the state’s election count.
      In the November presidential election and the subsequent run-off for two Senate seats, Georgia played a key role. After a neck and neck race, two Democratic Party candidates managed to turn the Republican stronghold blue and get control of the Senate. Voters from Atlanta played a large part in that success. That’s why our correspondents went to Gwinnett county, one of five metro counties in Atlanta, where Asian-American and Pacific Island voters had a major impact on the election.

      On Friday morning, shortly before ten o'clock Director of Broadcasting Leung Ka-wing sent an email to all staff announcing his departure from the station, six months before than the expiry of his contract. The announcement came just ahead of the release of an 85-page report on the governance and management of RTHK. Leung is to be replaced by Patrick Li, currently a deputy secretary for the Home Affairs Bureau. In a farewell note to all staff, the departing Director said, “These past five years and a half of serving RTHK and society with you have been indelible and I am grateful for every moment.”

    • CNY flower markets and fairs & Homelessness in the pandemic: MercyHK & ImpactHK

      CNY flower markets and fairs & Homelessness in the pandemic: MercyHK & ImpactHK

      Kung Hey Fat Choi. Hello and welcome to The Pulse.
      It’s fair to say that for many, in Hong Kong as around the world, the Year of the Rat hasn’t been one of the best, so it’s not be surprising if we enter the Year of the Ox with some trepidation. Even the Lunar New Year celebrations are overshadowed by Covid-19. With social distancing rules still in place, dining out this new year is not an option, at least after six. You’d also better get home in time for family celebrations, in case your neighbourhood gets treated to a government “ambush lockdown”. And the annual tradition of visiting the new year flower markets and fairs? Not so easy this year either.

      The tightening of social distancing rules including restrictions on restaurants and bars, has affected many, but most of us can at least be grateful we have food on the table and a roof over our heads. Not everyone is as fortunate. The pandemic has made the already hard lives of the homeless and of street sleepers even harder. Hygiene and social distancing are important in combatting the virus, and the difficulty of getting either leaves the homeless or those in overcrowded environments at greater risk of infection. And with unemployment increasing as Covid-19 affects the economy, the number of the homeless is increasing.

    • Myanmar coup discussion: Ian Holliday & John Mak, & oath-taking/declaration for civil servants

      Myanmar coup discussion: Ian Holliday & John Mak, & oath-taking/declaration for civil servants

      Myanmar, previously known as Burma, was under military rule for more than half a century. In 1962, General Ne Win staged a coup leading the country into a 26-year era of one-party rule. It wasn’t until 2011 that the military junta was officially dissolved. But the military has retained considerable power from both behind the scenes and out in the open. Last November Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy, which had led the opposition to the Junta, won by a landslide victory in a general election. The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party challenged the result, alleging 8.6 million election irregularities and evidence of fraud. The election commission rejected these allegations. Then, on Monday this week, citizens of Myanmar woke up to find themselves once again under military rule and Ms Suu Kyi arrested again. With me to talk about the coup in Myanmar are Ian Holliday, Vice-president of the University of Hong Kong whose research focuses on Myanmar politics and governance and John Mak, a social entrepreneur based in Myanmar and Hong Kong.

      Last week, the government announced that civil servants should prepare to resume providing basic public services after – in many cases - working from home due to the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many are returning to the office with an important decision to make. They’re expected to sign a loyalty pledge before the Lunar New Year, and it’s left some feeling conflicted, and even confused.

    • HK's ethnic minorities in the pandemic & Virtual Legco meetings

      HK's ethnic minorities in the pandemic & Virtual Legco meetings

      Last Saturday marked a year since the first pandemic lockdown in Wuhan and other cities in Hubei, China. And here we are again, exactly one year later, with the Hong Kong government enforcing a two-day lockdown of its own in the densely packed neighbourhood of Jordan to carry out mandatory coronavirus screening. Then on Tuesday, residential blocks in Yau Ma Tei were condoned off in an unannounced “raid” to prevent people from fleeing. And on Thursday, it was the turn of a North Point neighbourhood. So, what’s been the result of all this activity? Frankly, not much - 13 confirmed cases out of 7,000 tests in Jordan, 1 out of 330 in Yau Ma Tei and zero cases out of 475 in North Point. Many residents of the first two districts live below the poverty line. A high percentage are from ethnic minority groups. As the barriers came down criticism emerged over the handling of lockdowns in these districts marked by poverty where the authorities showed a marked lack of sensitivity towards non-Chinese communities. With us to discussion the issue are Jeffrey Andrews, social worker and Vice-chair of Unison, and Puja Kapai, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong and member of the Board of Directors of the Asian Migrants’ Centre.

      Covid-19 has posed huge challenges for administrations around the world. Many countries have had to juggle implementing health measures while maintaining parliamentary and governmental work. In these circumstances there is always the danger that one of the first casualties of an all-encompassing crisis will be civil rights and civic freedoms. Last May, the United Nations warned of the need to safeguard civic space during the pandemic. “Now, more than ever,” it said, “the voices of people need to be heard.” Here in Hong Kong a key aspect of the Legislative Council’s work is to provide an opportunity for government officials and lawmakers to hear what ordinary citizens have to say in public hearings during committee meetings. But that has changed because of Covid.

    • Oath-taking for civil servants & Inauguration of Joe Biden

      Oath-taking for civil servants & Inauguration of Joe Biden

      As James Hacker, the fictional Minister for Administrative Affairs in the acclaimed British political comedy, “Yes, Minister” once said, “The three articles of Civil Service faith: It takes longer to do things quickly, it's more expensive to do them cheaply, and it's more democratic to do them in secret." That was supposed to be a joke but right now in a civil service rather closer to home, that joke is not sounding so funny. Moreover, Hong Kong’s 177,000 or so civil servants have now been told to put on their sternest faces as they are required to pledge their loyalty on pain of dismissal for not so doing. With me to talk about the loyalty declaration requirement for civil servants and public officers are Arisina Ma, president of the HK Public Doctors Association and Jeremy Young, a Central and Western District Councillor.

      The four years of Donald Trump’s presidency came to an end on Wednesday morning. He’ll be missed by some, but – according to opinion polls - not by most.
      Donald Trump did however achieve one breakthrough: he was the first US president to be impeached twice. But he still has loyal supporters like Senator Lindsey Graham, who reckons the Republican Party continues to need him. On the other hand, Mitch McConnell, now leader of the Republican opposition in the Senate, is busy stepping away from Trump accusing him of inciting the far-right extremists who stormed Capitol Hill on January 6th, an action that led to the deaths of six people. Former vice-president Mike Pence, a target for those protesters, broke with Trump over his attempts to stop Joe Biden’s inauguration, which took place in highly restrictive circumstances. The Pulse was on the ground in Washington DC for Inauguration Day.

    • Interview with Tony Wong of OGCIO on Leave Home Safe mobile app & Bishop Hill Reservoir

      Interview with Tony Wong of OGCIO on Leave Home Safe mobile app & Bishop Hill Reservoir

      As we enter a second year under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries are seeing infection surges and mounting deaths. A key element in countering the spread of the virus is contact tracing to identify the source of infections following the discovery of a coronavirus patient. A wide range of digital tools have been developed for this purpose by governments, businesses and even ordinary citizens. But as with many new technologies, the first and foremost concern for some is data security and privacy. To talk about the Leave Home Safe mobile application is Tony Wong, Deputy Government Chief Information Officer.

      Wo Chai Hill, also known as Bishop Hill, is a small hill in Shek Kip Mei. The site covers one of several underground service reservoirs in Kowloon. For local residents, it’s also a rare urban green recreational space. Shortly before the end of last year, as demolition work on one underground reservoir started, a century-old 4,300 square metre gem came to light. And it wasn’t government officials or government experts that came to the rescue.

    • Mass arrest of 53 democrats: interview with Lau Siu-kai & Lo Kin-hei; Geoffrey Ma's retirement & interview w/ Henry Litton on judicial reform

      Mass arrest of 53 democrats: interview with Lau Siu-kai & Lo Kin-hei; Geoffrey Ma's retirement & interview w/ Henry Litton on judicial reform

      Interview with Lau Siu-kai and Lo Kin-hei on the mass arrest of 53 pro-democracy figures, Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma's retirement and interview with Henry Litton on judicial reform

    • Covid-19 vaccine discussion: David Hui, government health expert on Covid-19 & Alex Lam, Chairman of HK Patients' Voices

      Covid-19 vaccine discussion: David Hui, government health expert on Covid-19 & Alex Lam, Chairman of HK Patients' Voices

      Happy new year and welcome to The Pulse.

      2020 has been a year that many will be happy to see go. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought great disruption and many losses, both personally and economically, all around the world. We’ve all had to adapt to new ways of living and behaving because of the virus, and the coronavirus lifestyle: social distancing, mask wearing, working from home, and communicating, teaching and learning over Zoom will continue in 2021.
      The World Health Organization has received reports of almost 1.8 million deaths from Covid-19 around the world, even as scientists raced to develop a vaccine. And the vaccine arrived with unprecedented speed, with news of the first approval of a Covid-19 vaccine announced in the United Kingdom in December. Inoculation programmes are already under way in some countries. With me to talk about the Covid-19 vaccine situation in Hong Kong are David Hui, Head of the Division of Respiratory Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who’s also a government health expert on Covid-19 and Alex Lam, Chairman of Hong Kong Patients' Voices.

    • Looking back at 2020

      Looking back at 2020

      Hello and welcome to The Pulse. And from all of us here, best wishes to you for this holiday season. There are still a few days left, but so far 2020 has been a year unlike any other in recent history- and that’s putting it mildy. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary has designated “pandemic” as the word of the year, and you can see why. Oxford dictionaries report that searches for the word increased by 57,000%. As the pandemic intensified and lockdowns were enforced in most countries, “coronavirus” became the most searched term on the internet according to Google analytics data. Hong Kong, of course, has had more than Covid-19 to deal with. The aftermath of the social unrest in 2019 and the introduction of the new National Security Law have drastically changed the socio-political landscape. This week, we look at what 2020 has meant to four people from different walks of life.