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Thursday, Sep 16, 2021

Hongkongers clearly don’t come first in Hong Kong

Hongkongers clearly don’t come first in Hong Kong

The national security office has quickly taken up unused hotel space, while families continue to wait for more than five years for a home

It has been four weeks since I had my second Covid BioNTech vaccination and by now the antibodies should be building up in my body. As a good citizen I also use the Leave Home Safe and the iAM Smart government apps.

Getting the two vaccinations has proved to be a bit of an anti-climax, as it now appears the benefits of getting them are few and far between.

I am able to fly to a number of countries throughout the world without the need to quarantine on arrival. However, if I return to Hong Kong, I need to retest and go through 21 days of quarantine despite having received my vaccinations in this city.

I would love to hear someone in the government comment on why Singaporeans can come to Hong Kong with no vaccinations, Hong Kong residents using the Singapore bubble can return without quarantine, but other fully vaccinated Hong Kong travellers cannot do the same.

Surely a test before the return flight, a test on arrival in Hong Kong, and the production of the Hong Kong government’s electronic vaccination certificate should be enough.

Government does not seem to like the people much

I have come to the conclusion that our government really doesn’t like us that much. Two examples from the last few weeks spring to mind.

Firstly, the Office for Safeguarding National Security has just requisitioned its second hotel in under a year – what a shame the government couldn’t have shown similar amounts of vim in requisitioning other unused hotel space for those living in fire traps or cages while waiting for public housing.

The office has also just been given a nice harbourside site for its new 124,000 sq ft office, enough space to house about 300 of the families who have been waiting for more than five years for a home. Isn’t it amazing what you can do when the pressure comes from the right people?

Secondly, the travel bubble with Singapore that will start at the end of May : why is that, if we Hongkongers want to go there we have to get vaccinated, whereas if Singaporeans want to come here they don’t need to bother? Are they more important than us?

Why, when the Hong Kong government does something that most sensible people would support, does it manage to ruin everything by treating Hongkongers as second-class citizens?

Our hapless unelected chief executive, and her unelected appointees, must have something of a blind spot to the people they are paid to govern. They don’t seem to like us very much and, speaking personally, the feeling is mutual.

Repairing and rebuilding people’s trust in the government is essential if we’re going to find ways through the pandemic and the huge list of other problems facing us – it might help if the government made a teensy bit of effort in prioritising us for a change.


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