Le­ung’s de­ci­sion is not an in­di­ca­tion of Bei­jing chang­ing course

Chow Pak-chin says that the HKMAO and Li­ai­son Of­fice’s praise for the CE has laid down the cri­te­ria for the pre­lim­i­nary skeleton of the next gov­ern­ment

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - C H O W PA K- C H I N

The city may per­haps be still in a state of shock fol­low­ing Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Le­ung Chun-ying’s de­ci­sion to re­lin­quish re-elec­tion, but that by no means can jus­tify the ma­lig­nant and un­sub­stan­ti­ated spec­u­la­tion of some who sug­gested the de­ci­sion was a smoke­screen for the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s with­draw­ing of sup­port for Le­ung’s poli­cies and strate­gies. This isn’t just dis­in­for­ma­tion, but defama­tion tar­geted at the cen­tral gov­ern­ment also.

It is worth­while to pay ad­di­tional at­ten­tion to the three re­marks man­i­fest in the state­ments is­sued by the Hong Kong and Ma­cao Affairs Of­fice (HKMAO) of the State Coun­cil and the Li­ai­son Of­fice of the Cen­tral Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment in the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, in re­sponse to Le­ung’s pub­lic an­nounce­ment of not run­ning for re-elec­tion last Fri­day.

For starters, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s of­fice that over­sees Hong Kong affairs has said that the cen­tral gov­ern­ment lead­er­ship “has al­ways ac­corded his (Le­ung’s) work suf­fi­cient af­fir­ma­tion and a high as­sess­ment”, while the Li­ai­son Of­fice echoed this with an ac­knowl­edge­ment and com­men­da­tion of sim­i­lar weight. It doesn’t take a ge­nius to ob­serve that the cen­tral gov­ern­ment has made an ef­fort to im­part such a high level of af­fir­ma­tion and as­sess­ment on Hong Kong’s cur­rent-term Chief Ex­ec­u­tive; how is it log­i­cal, then, to in­fer that the cen­tral gov­ern­ment in­tended to change course in the gov­er­nance of the city?

Sec­ond, the two of­fices’ af­fir­ma­tion and com­men­da­tion of Le­ung’s poli­cies do not re­fer to a sin­gle ap­praisal, but stress that they have “al­ways ac­corded his work suf­fi­cient af­fir­ma­tion and high as­sess­ment”. Le­ung’s claim that “the cen­tral gov­ern­ment has al­ways sup­ported me and said I have done a good job” re­ceived un­wa­ver­ing back­ing from Bei­jing, as was ev­i­dent in a state­ment is­sued by the HKMAO shortly af­ter Le­ung’s an­nounce­ment, which stated: “Mr Le­ung has stead­fastly im­ple­mented the ‘One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems’ pol­icy and the Ba­sic Law since tak­ing up of­fice as the fourth Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Hong Kong SAR, ap­pro­pri­ately han­dled a se­ries of sig­nif­i­cant po­lit­i­cal and le­gal is­sues, and has made im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tions in de­fend­ing na­tional sovereignty, se­cu­rity and devel­op­ment in­ter­ests, as well as the po­lit­i­cal and so­cial sta­bil­ity of Hong Kong.” It added that Le­ung, with the HKSAR Gov­ern­ment and so­ci­ety as the wind be­neath his wings, has achieved pro­gres­sive re­sults in eco­nomic devel­op­ment, im­prove­ment in peo­ple’s liveli­hoods, and pro­mo­tion of cross-bound­ary ex­change and co­op­er­a­tion.

The state­ment is­sued by the Li­ai­son Of­fice enun­ci­ated its sup­port for Le­ung with even greater clar­ity: “Le­ung has led the HKSAR Gov­ern­ment in act­ing con­sis­tently with the law, tack­ling deep-rooted so­cial is­sues with tenac­ity, en­cour­ag­ing mu­tual un­der­stand­ing within the so­ci­ety, as well as stim­u­lat­ing eco­nomic devel­op­ment, im­prov­ing liveli­hoods, pro­mot­ing democ­racy, fos­ter­ing har­mony, aid­ing cross-bound­ary co­op­er­a­tion and in­ter­na­tional con­nec­tion; un­de­ni­ably ev­i­dent is Le­ung’s stren­u­ous ef­fort, and the pos­i­tive re­sults.” The Li­ai­son Of­fice also placed em­pha­sis on its com­men­da­tion of Le­ung’s han­dling of po­lit­i­cal re­form and the “Oc­cupy Cen­tral” move­ment, as well as a se­ries of sig­nif­i­cant po­lit­i­cal and le­gal is­sues such as the law­ful crack­down on lo­cal­ism, adding that Le­ung is an an­swer­able Chief Ex­ec­u­tive who stead­fastly de­fends na­tional sovereignty and se­cu­rity, the Ba­sic Law, so­cial sta­bil­ity and peo­ple’s liveli­hoods, as well as the rule of law; he is a man of un­flag­ging loy­alty to the na­tion and Hong Kong, and one who

It doesn’t take a ge­nius to ob­serve that the cen­tral gov­ern­ment has made an ef­fort to im­part such a high level of af­fir­ma­tion and as­sess­ment on Hong Kong’s cur­rent-term Chief Ex­ec­u­tive; how is it log­i­cal, then, to in­fer that the cen­tral gov­ern­ment in­tended to change course in the gov­er­nance of the city?”

The au­thor is vice-chair­man of Wis­dom Hong Kong, a lo­cal think tank. has the abil­ity to pre­side over in­tri­cate affairs.

With words and phrases such as “im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion”, “pro­gres­sive re­sults”, “an­swer­able”, and “un­flag­ging loy­alty to the na­tion and Hong Kong” ar­tic­u­lated in their state­ments, the HKMAO as well as the Li­ai­son Of­fice have laid down the cri­te­ria for the pre­lim­i­nary skeleton of the next gov­ern­ment.

On a sep­a­rate note, as a doc­tor I find Le­ung putting his fam­ily’s well­be­ing as his ut­most pri­or­ity ad­mirable. He is at the peak of his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer, af­ter all, though a daunt­ing and thank­less one none­the­less. To put his po­lit­i­cal as­pi­ra­tions be­hind in ex­change for the ful­fill­ment of do­mes­tic re­spon­si­bil­i­ties re­quires more gump­tion and wis­dom than one can imag­ine. I there­fore rep­ri­mand those who have ma­li­ciously jeop­ar­dized the health, well-be­ing and rep­u­ta­tion of others with their malev­o­lent ac­cu­sa­tions and spite­ful ac­tions — the vic­tims, in this case, be­ing the fam­ily mem­bers of Le­ung Chun-ying.

The Con­sumer Coun­cil on Thursday re­leased a re­port on the real and present dan­ger posed by an­tibi­otic-re­sis­tant bac­te­ria and viruses in chicken meat for hu­man con­sump­tion here in Hong Kong. The coun­cil ex­am­ined 100 sam­ples of chicken parts from both lo­cal and over­seas sup­pli­ers and found an­tibi­otic-re­sis­tant mi­crobes in more than 60 per­cent of them. That is a very alarm­ing fact con­sid­er­ing the pop­u­lar­ity of chicken meat in this city.

A by-ef­fect of mod­ern farm­ing, reck­less use of an­tibi­otics on do­mes­tic an­i­mals for hu­man con­sump­tion has grabbed pub­lic at­ten­tion and raised wide­spread con­cern in many de­vel­oped coun­tries such as the US and Bri­tain in re­cent years. As a re­sult, many stud­ies have been done to find out how dam­ag­ing an­tibi­otic-re­sis­tant mi­crobes in an­i­mal meats can be to hu­man health. Although there is no de­fin­i­tive con­clu­sion just yet, sci­en­tists tend to agree in­gest­ing an­i­mal meat car­ry­ing an­tibi­otic-re­sis­tant bac­te­ria may ad­versely af­fect the con­sumer. In light of this re­al­ity the Con­sumer Coun­cil sug­gests tighter reg­u­la­tion is needed on the use of an­tibi­otics in the lo­cal poul­try farm­ing in­dus­try.

Chicken meat is the top source of an­i­mal pro­tein here in Hong Kong be­cause it is the most af­ford­able and ver­sa­tile of all meats on the mar­ket. And live chick­ens are par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar be­cause of the Chi­nese culi­nary tradi- tion. Peo­ple be­lieve fresh chicken tastes much bet­ter than the frozen va­ri­eties and there­fore are not al­ways alarmed when they see traces of blood in their chicken dishes if they know it is fresh chicken. Ap­par­ently that is one way for an­tibi­otic-re­sis­tant bac­te­ria and any other po­ten­tially harm­ful mi­crobes to get into our sys­tems.

Granted, drug re­sis­tance is a grow­ing chal­lenge for mod­ern medicine in an­i­mals as well as hu­mans, and an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance is ar­guably the most acute of them all right now. Lead­ing phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies and bio-labs around the world are rac­ing against time to de­velop new an­tibi­otics, hop­ing to kick emerg­ing drug-re­sis­tant mi­crobes to the curb, but time is not on our side. That is why sci­en­tists be­lieve vac­ci­na­tion is a much bet­ter way to de­feat drug re­sis­tance, but vac­cines take a lot of time to de­velop, too.

For daily preven­tion, how­ever, we can be­gin by thor­oughly cook­ing all the meat we eat. Tem­per­a­tures above 100 C can kill most if not all mi­crobes found in our daily foods.

Many peo­ple may have al­ready learned by now it is a bad idea to use an­tibi­otics freely but may not be aware the same the­ory ap­plies to an­i­mals as well, which is why an­tibi­otics us­age should be strictly con­trolled one way or an­other.

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