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Pride of HK System Being Eaten Away


Would you say "yes" if you were told your appointment was another symbol to mark the fall of the system that Hong Kong people take pride in?

Perhaps not, if you realised the burden was on you to protect the integrity of the territory's reputable civil service system that has a history of more than 150 years.

Last month, Hong Kong audience were shocked to see a newly appointed deputy secretary failing to speak fluently and eloquently to the press. His mediocre performance indicated a level of English proficiency that cannot meet the requirement for being a civil servant at the middle level management. The position now in question is at the deputy bureau chief level with a monthly salary as high as HK$220 thousand, which is only second to the bureau chiefs, the top tier in the government.

I believe many Hong Kongers miss those senior executives from the previous Hong Kong government, the elites who could speak up for the government and Hong Kong people with their impressive bilingual skills. Mrs Anson Chan is one prominent example that represented the cream of the civil servants. 

Sadly, cracks in the floodgate were created by the first Chief Executive Mr Tung Chee Hwa who pioneered the appointment system that allowed people from outside the civil service to take up senior civil servant roles with their political merit. 

At the very beginning, people from the reputable Administrative Officer (AO) pool within the civil service or leaders from different professions were selected to justify this innovative appointment system. But after only a little more than 10 years, Hong Kong taxpayers could find their money being used to hire someones way far from being qualified or recognised as elites of the society. Perhaps, when we know where the cracks are from, it will be easier to accept the hard fact that a hundred years' long system, that we take pride in, can be led so close to a total depravation at high speed.

Some may still ask why Hong Kongers are so discontented. This episode about a senior civil servant appointment may have given some ideas as to how much and how far the long and strong arms of the invisible power have been infiltrating into different aspects of their daily lives since the handover.

Would Hong Kongers be happy to see their freedom of speech being threatened; a comment on the social media to cause them their jobs; or an ordinary history exam question to be challenged and cancelled after the public examination taken place for political reasons? There is even no need to mention the corrupted fashion that business opportunities in various industries will only go to those in support of the authorities.

For Hong Kongers, the looming proclamation of a security law is only to make legal the brutal violence of the police force and their blatant violation of rules and regulations in suppressing and charging civilians on the streets. While Hong Kongers are appalled by the suggestion that public order agents will set up bureaus in Hong Kong to facilitate execution of the new law, this move is only to confirm their months-long suspicion about the presence of Beijing agents in the police violence that can be seen in broad daylight.

Again, this only makes legal what have already been happening in Hong Kong by a new law which is being formed illegitimately, at least to the knowledge of the common law system which Hong Kong people want to protect and keep it as intact as it could have been over the past 178 years.