Then there was this side show that was more like Howl-o-scream than Disney, but it was cool. Our daughter really liked this gal. Then it was off to Mystic Mansion. The word was this ride is unique to Hong Kong Disney because their beliefs did not allow for a haunted house. Ironically, it didn't seem to limit the ghosts and ghouls that were part of the Halloween festivities.
My wife says this is like our dream house. I really liked it. In another twist it was a little too scary for the kids, and they like the Haunted Mansion. I've actually seen the real one of these in the British museum. It was different and fun. We took turns going through and there was a park in front for the kids to play in. We asked multiple cabbies where this was and finally, when we had given up our last one realized we were saying it wrong. Newer Post Older Post Home. Furious at Sir Geoffrey Howe Prior to our departure for London we had arranged for some of our colleagues to form a small task force led by Lydia Dunn to liaise with and provide support to the delegation.
After haxing been scoffed at by the Foreign Secretary at the meeting in the Parliament Building, 1 knew I had to get our views across to the rest of the world in some other way. We had to rally the public, our only recourse. I then appealed solemnly to the Hong Kong people in front of the media's microphones and cameras: "Hong Kong has reached a crisis point and if you agree with the sentiments of the UMELCO position paper, please take this opportunity to make known your views.
If you don't speak up now, you may not have another chance to do so. We were told that it had aroused tremendous reaetion from the population. At the same time we relayed to Lydia Dimn, and through her to the mass media, how Lord MaeLehose had ehastised the delega- tion and how we had been misunderstood. Before going we discussed our strategy and decided the best course was not for us to talk but to read out aloud to the Foreign Secretary and his colleagues at the Foreign Office telexes and telegrams of support from the Hong Kong public.
Thus the British officials could hear the thoughts of people who w ere deprived a say in their future. Our plan was for each member of the delegation to select ten telegrams or telexes to be ready, and when I called at the outset of the meeting each one in succession would read out aloud the contents.
As we were enunciating every word in these emotive missives, we noticed Sir Geoffrey twitching and his face glowing redder with every syllable. When the third person, I remember it was Oswald Cheung, had been halfway through his reading. Sir Geoffrey suddenly conceded. He uttered, "Enough! You don't have to go on. You do reflect the true views of the Hong Kong people. We also got from organizations 1, submissions, of which 1, were unconditionally for, four gave partial support, and only one opposed. Of these were men and women, all aged 19 and aboxc. White-collar workers accounted for , blue-collar workers , and the rest were either retired, houscwixes, students or unemployed.
The results corroborated the mood we had long gauged from intuition and perception. The surxey, howexer. I'Alwarcl 1 Icath — who claim that rMl! About a year later my wife, who was from Maeao, eould onh- obtain a one-off identifieation paper to join me in liritain. To my surprise, the British ioxernment gave me a new British passport issued in London with the name of my wife in it.
At that time we were not aware of this insidious erosion of our right and did not raise any objection. Oswald ;heimg. Lo Tak-shing, Maria Tam, Selina ". Heath salt! Macao trom the IN list of colonial territories.
See a Problem?
They then bciian to consider amend the British Nationality Act. As a side note, the de-colonization of British colonies after the Second World War created many independent states in the British Common- wealth. Those British subjects of African and Indian origin who did not wish to become citizens of the newly established independent states could become British Oxcrseas Citizens with no right of abode in Britain.
We did not make that decision to have been Hong Kong born. We committed no crime. We made no mistake. Yet the British Parliament will decide to abolish unilaterally and arbitrarily our birthright. He was the most senior official from the Mainland ever appointed to head the clc facto "hinese "embassy" in Hong Kong.
His appointment rctlected the seriousness with which Ihina attached to the post and to winning oxer the people. Xu arrixed by train, sporting a pair of tinted glasses, which stood him out from the usualix- stodgy Mainland cadres. Dunn, a Sxxire senior e. Pauls lo-ed. But we had a conflict of schedules since we had to travel to London at the same time for the parliamentary debate on Hong Kong. Hence we were not able to meet the wishes of Xu.
This, I believe, had created bad feeling between Beijing and us. In retrospect, I doubt that the Chinese had forwarded the invitation deliberately to make us choose between visiting London or Beijing and expected us to give them priority. Nonetheless, we told Xu that we would love to go but we also had three requests. Third, Xu should let us know the name of the Chinese leaders meeting with us in Beijing. Xu hesitated for a moment, saying it would be difficult and the matter was left unresolved. There was, however, a hitch.
W'e wrangled ox'cr these two points until after three in the afternoon but still both sides could not compromise. I thought of a way otit of the impasse. Then 1 called and told the UMELCO office loudly that the session with Xu liad been futile, the trip to Beijing would be aborted, and the press conference cancelled. So then our trip to licijing was on as scheduled. The roads were wide but jammed with bieyeles, espeeially at the junetions. Lu, a graduate of St. We briefed him about our speaking notes used for our session with the supreme leader scheduled for the following morning.
The objectixe was to allow some extra time for the Chinese Government to consider and respond during the official meeting. I understand you have a number of opinions, to which we are willing to listen.
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I siiiiimoiKM.! Xo three les;s, only two legs. Snbseqnently the phrase "three- legged stool" became the jargon frequently used by the Chinese to discoin-age any input from Hong Kong people in the talks. Deng was resolute and absolute, continuing to express his rather threatening view, "As far as sovereignty is concerned, it will be resumed in regardless of the Sino-British talks and reactions from all sides. I have told the British Prime Minister that if major unrest occurred in Hong Kong before , we would reconsider the timing and ways of taking back Hong Kong.
Our presentation was supposed to be in three parts, a preamble and two main themes. In the preamble we expressed support for China's recovery of the soNcreignty of Hong Kong in , making it a Special Administratixe Region with a high degree of autonomy to be administered by local inhabitants and with the existing system unchanged for 50 years after For the first theme, we with diffidence told Deng about and explained in some details the people's lack of confidence in Hong Kong, both before and after I said, "People remain anxious and worried, and are filled with uncertainties.
This anxiety is not limited to those with money. This is a fact and we feel it our duty to retleei this situation honestly. This would lead to a loss of confidence, an exodus of professional and talented people, an outflow of capital, and a lack of investment, resulting in economic recession in Hong Kong. As regards the period after , there are three main worries. First, people are worried that instead of genuinely being administered by the people of Hong Kong, the future goxcrnment of the IlKSAR would actually be governed from Beijing.
Second, people fear that the middle and lower level cadres who are responsible for the implementation of China s policy over the IIKSAR may not be able to accept tiie capitalist systems and lifestyle of Hong Kong. Lee, would be near NO years of age by and there was nothing more I would ask for. As this point before I began to speak on the second theme, Deng interrupted me and made his response, lie speeitieally mentioned three major areas, the state of confidence in llony Kong, the KVyear transitional period, and the administration of the Hong Kong SAK.
Aetnalb' it is yoiu' ojiinion. The c uestion is whether the unrest is major or minor.
Members of the future Hong Kong Government and its affiliated bodies should basically be patriots. Their mission is to rule Hong Kong well. The Central Government has the power. No matter how they are nominated or elected, the Hong Kong officials will be appointed by the Central Government. This is a procedure. This policy is clear and will not change. The Central Government won't take a single coin from Hong Kong after I want to take a rest. If you have other opinions, you can discuss them with my colleagues. The three of us retin-ned to Hong Kong on 25 June and im- mediately held a press conference to reveal what we had said to the Chinese leaders and more importantly what Deng had told us plus our interpretation of his message.
It contains a rexealins passage saying that, 'With regard to the so-called Hong Kong people arc afflicted with the confidence crisis, I do not belicN'c that is the tiiie feeling of the Hong Kong people. Craft of Story Telling Rlietoric is a neglected art form, at least to those of us who arc not Cicero reincarnates. Candour is fine but sometimes talking straight elicits the opposite effect. This is why a skill orator employs nuances, similes, allegories, and parables to let his listeners draw their own inferences or none at all. June 19S4 after our session with Deng Xiaoping in the morning.
Prior to the dinner we had quite a long session to explain and discuss with our hosts in great detail the second theme of our memorandum containing the three main proposals by which China could allay the fears and assuage the doubts of the people of Hong Kong. We said drafting the Basic Law in Hong Kong would helii to enhance confidence and make use of the local expertise and talents.
A substantial nundier of Ilong Kong residents were either refugees from the Mainland or their children. For the past? The caprice and the horrific consequences eroded what little trust the people of Hong Kong hatl in the Ihincsc ioxernnient. Instead of blurting out such a harsh spiel, we used an analogy, which had a special poignancy to so many Chinese.
So before we proceed to explain the third proposal we told. M and his colleagues a fictitious story. We said, "The people of a small village is about to resettle to a place where flooding had occurred about once in excry ten years during the past three decades. In ortler to secure confidence of the villagers being resettled there, a flood protection dam is built to ensure that their future lixclihood w ill not be threatened. The lonnnittee, w c' further proposeil. While the "Basic Law Legal Committee" we envisaged is not identical to the "Basic Law Committee" that has since been established, the two are similar in their purpose.
Chairman Deng had passed away, unfortunately, just four months before Hong Kong's rctiu-n on 1 July Xu Jiatun, one of the key players in the saga, had fled to the United States of iVmerica in the early s under the protection of Uncle Sam. As for the three of. Public Support for the Beijing Trip Whilst we were pondering over the criticism from the Chinese leaders in Beijing that our views were not necessarily those of the people of Hong Kong, the South China Mominp, Post on 6. The poll was conducted by telephone between 28 June and 1.
Inly, tluee days after our return from the Beijing mission. White-collar workers accounted for , blue-collar workers ami the rest were either retiretl, housewixes, students or imemployed. But afterwards we received a lot of praise for our trip to Beijing. Mainland meddling in local affairs whilst Hong Kong was still under Ihitish administration. The K. The disijuiet was enough to prompt Britain anil Jiina to spell out elearK the timetions and reaches of the liduji in the Sino-British.
Idunicy tn Rcituijicdliou p. P nt the British thought that the Ihinese would balk at sueh an extension and was reluetant to raise it at the negotiating table. At the EX X meeting with him we pressed him again very hard to raise with the 'hinese the "mirror image" concept. We pointed out that it would be a form of residual British presence and should enhance the acceptabihty of the Agreement by Hong Kong people.
Sir Geoffrey was receptive to the idea and argument but did not promise to raise the issue with the Ghinese. Sir Geoffrey, who had been in Beijing to put the finishing touches to the Sino-liritish Agreement, which was to be initialled in September , rctiu-ned to London via Hong Kong to brief the Executive Council on 1 August. The Chinese agreed that the Group could exist imtil 1 January 2. Political Gambit The negotiations were long and laborious. Both sides, their nerves frayed, in the end agreed on a constitutional arrangement for the territory, but each side laid its ow n gambit and the dangling issue continued to jangle and rankle.
The SAR would enjoy a high degree of autonomy, rule of law , libertx". The Chinese ioxernment later aiiieeel that the ". Both sides could not nudge any closer to a final settlement on the intractable political question. It was rumoiu'ed that Deng Xiaoping, howexer. Aroinid summer 19S4 the talks had reached consensus on most of the main points, other than on politics with both sides sticking to their principles on the direet elections. Time was running out and so the Ihinese made another o]X'ninu uamlMt in the chess game that is diplomacy.
The result would be a much more diluted, perhaps anaemic, form of electoral mandate. Earlier on both sides recognized the difficulty in putting the solution into the main body of the Joint Declaration and agreed to continue discussion in the Joint Working iroup established mound June and worked continuously for almost three months in Beijing to resohe the remainini; problems. Both Firitain and the iloni; Kong Executive Council initially and all along had thought of labelling the accord the terminology of "Sino-British Agreement".
The Peoj-ile's Kepublie, theiefore, would not need to reach "agreement" with the r. VK lloiifj Konii's. Most members of the ExecutiN'c Council, and also the Hong Kong people, we believed, endorsed the framework of the Joint Declaration but. They felt the United Ivingdom had shirked its responsibility tow ards the British subjects in Hong Kong.
Also present at the meetinn; were I'oreiiin Seeretary Sir leolfrey ll. The draft Joint Declaration, though was not perfect, did more or less meet the first three requests. On the contrary, it was the last request, that is, to safeguard the rights of the British nationals in Hong Kong, which was disappointing. With such a misgiving expressed, the Unofficial Members of the Executive Council endorsed the embryonic Joint Declaration and undertook to recommend it to the people of Hong Kong.
Dunns Embarrassment We, the Unofficial Members of the Executive Council, were very strung out in London in by the enormous pressure and at times frosty reception. AlM ut seven of us subsequently hailed a couple of cabs, which, however, i;ot separated in the ensuing traffic jam. Rather without chiN'alry, we left Lydia in the corner under a lurid lamp- light to wait for our return. I traipsed around for a few minutes and couldn't locate any one from the other cab.
I then returned to cheek on Lydia and spotted a man of Middle Eastern extraction sidling up to Lxtlia. Hy the suuuuer of I ''S I, ;i few sticking iioints asitie. My eoneentration was siiddenK' interrupted by a knoek at my door, whieh I opened to see three Englishmen. One of the heralds told me that they had reeeixed news from the Speeial l raneh of the Hong Kong Ciovernment about a plot being hatehed against me. My answer was a definite no.
I then asked in tin-n the source of the Hong Kong Special Branch s tip-off. I then found the whole story too incredible. But the shadow of doubt hanged over me and so after my return to the Colony, I consulted with the Royal Police of Hong Kong. I was advised to take certain precautionary measures as a matter of prudence and so I did. After the lapse of about three months, nothing had happened and I gradually retin-ned to my daily routines. The liritish printed SOO, copies in l". The Unofficial Members of the Executive Council, after meeting with the P ritish Prime Minister retin-ncd to Iloni; Kons; and on 28 Sej" teniber conducted a press conference to reconnnend the draft to the people.
Of eoiu'se, there was another alternatixe, whieh was no Joint Declaration. The likely consequence of this choice would be a unilateral declaration by Hiina. We said, "A unilateral declaration may not contain all the details we require; may not be binding; may not proxide any assurance or an undertaking about the future Basic Law. We quoted, for example, the promise of an elected Plate 2. Members of the Kxeeutixe and Legislative louneils. The Senior. Member of LF 1 ". Swaine berated the Piritisli for "negotiating with Ihina witli one arm tied liehind their liaeks" beeatise the ihitisli liad ah-eady demonstrated their laek of eonmiitment to the territory by robbing their subjeets of their right of abode in the United Kingdom through a series of immigration and nationahty aets.
Chan repeated the argument that the people of Hong Kong could not trust the Chinese Communist Party and a piece of paper would not lessen the decades of psychological terror. The Ilong Kong Government did not stand idle while the legislators and Executive Councillors waded through the issue as it formed a special task force, chaired by a High Court Judge, Simon Li, to monitor public opinion and report direct to the Administration.
At the same time, the UMELC'O also wanted to haxe their own assessment of the public opinion and used the money contributed by some indixidual members to commission Survey Research Hong Kong Limited in conducting a separate independent opinion poll covering 6, persons of 18 years and over. The survey concluded that the xast majority supported the draft Joint Declaration. Some 90 per cent of the respondents in the poll found the treaty was far preferable to none. The 18 District Boards, established to keep their ears close to the figtn-ative ground, also backed the accord.
The purposes were to retleet the views of the Hong Kong people to members of b jth Houses and attend the debates. More specifically, we wanted to remind the British Government not to sacrifice Hong Kong's interest for its own and not to tolerate Chinese meddling during the transition. The delegation checked into oiu" London haunt, the Portman Intercontinental Hotel, in the heart of London on 1 December w ith many questions on our minds.
As time passed oiu" disquiet became palpable, eclipsing our reasons for hope. We stressed that most people in Hong Kong believed that only if stability and prosperity were maintained in the transition period prior to could there be any hope that stability and prosperity would be continued for fifty years after The two demands were: 1 The people of liong Kong should not onh' be consulted but be involved in the drafting of the Basic Law ; 2 The people of liong Kong should jiarticipate in the Sino- liritish.
The I louse of '. The Commons unanimously ratified the draft Joint Declaration. It also ended up with a unanimous sanction of the draft Joint Declaration. I gladly accepted the invitation and stayed overnight at the Chinese Government's sprawling estate that had catered for some of the most famous leaders, including Richard Nixon and of course the British Prime Minister.
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At the middle of the aircraft were seats for the Prime Minister's accompany- ing staff, and on the back was mainly the press. I sat near the front. The journalists, I was told, had to pay for the passage with the attendant privilege of a chance to interview key figures. I do not recall all the details except that we generally talked about dexelopments ahead. But I did not receive that ultimate i. Michael and St. Companion C. Members of the first two classes are entitled to be called "Sir" or "Dame".
Commander C]. Member M. Members of the first two classes arc cntitk'd to be called "Sir" or "Dame". M The Most I'. Officer O. Members of the first two el:isses are entitled to be ealled "Sir" or "Dame". The British, generally speakint;, bestowed the first category of honours on soxernment officials, the second on those who pnnided services to the Royal Family, and the third on government officials, citizens with exemplary public services and noted philanthropists.
Knight Bachelor, received in I would then became the second ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong ever to be bestowed a double knighthood after Sir Yuet-keung Kan. Though thrilled by the laurel, which was so rarely bestowed, I had to defer accepting the citation because taking it so soon after the negotiations might suggest impropriety or an over eagerness to take credit.
Sir Edward agreed with my reason and decision. The Queen delayed decorating me with that GBE Ivnighthood imtil after my first political retirement in In May 19S4 we siihmittetl a petition paper containing, inter alias, four proposals, one ot'whieli was an appeal to the Tnited Kingdom not to shirk its responsibility tor British nationals born in Hong Kong. The Ikitish ioxcrnment on To thwart Powells sabotage, the I'. Maria Tam and nnself — to Eoruloii to lobby the. Members of Parliament foi" the Hong Kong Bill. Peter ami.
Attending the state banquet were some sixty xery distinguisiied guests, including prominent politicians, diplomats and businessmen having some kind of connection with the People's Republie of Jiina. If I were to write a drama for the transition. Iloiii- KoiiLi's. The mutual recrimination marked the episode as the "period of distrust". Two months later the new Governor returned to London to secure the blessing from both Prime Minister John Major and Foreign Secretary Douglas llurd for his blueprint of accelerated poli- tical reform.
The programme sought to change radically the electoral procedures for the District Boards and LIrban Councils in and the Legislative Council in , plus revamping the composition of the Executive Council as well as divorcing the Legislative Council from the Executive Council. These secret sessions, during which we exchanged views freely, petered out after the Joint Declaration was signed in December but resumed eleven months later though much less frequently than before.
The need for such meetings was partly because the accord did not resolve all the issues germane to the transition from colony to the Special Administratixe Region. Some of these hurdles could not be resohed in the meetings of persons but not of minds. We came together once more at the suggestion of Xu on the CN'cning of 22 Xoxember at the old Bank of Miina Building, whose penthouse has since been conxerted into a stylish club replete with period photographs and posters.
Mao Junnian the onh' local recruit rising to the tleputx" status. Duim in- then had been promoted to be the Senior. They did so by shifting power to the people gradually and ideally with China's blessing. The Colonial Government, less than a year after the signing of the Joint Declaration, restructured the Legislative Council in which 10 members were officials and 46 were not.
Xu also talked about troop deploxnient and nationality, issues that riled the ]hinese side. The Director bristled at the temerity of such a proposal, saying Hong Kong had no need of its own garrison. In the first instance, Xu said, the British should not withdraw their garrison before I le lelt that the lU T '. As tor the Hong Kong S. Eaeh time 1 woukl faithfulh' reeord oiu" imj'yressions and the information gleaned from the talks and report to the joxernor. NMiile the talks sometimes waxed and waned as the suhjects changed, the most xolatile topie during the early days of the transition remained the political reforms of Lu was the Secretary General in the early s.
The Chinese were incensed that the British had provided for more elected legislators in the White Paper than that stated in the Green Paper given to them by the British. This, Xu considered, was a unilateral action, which betrayed the spirit of co-operation under- scored by the Joint Declaration. We explained that a Green Paper was merely a consultative document for public discussion.
As there had been many calls for taster democratization, the resultant White Paper was purely a reflection ot that popular demand. The complex consists of six newly built town houses recently bought by Xinhua, which was expanding its presence to cope with its much more divergent work. The Deputy Director said I'Idtc. But our explanation did not sway the implacable Chinese side, which insisted that the speed of democratization should be slowed down. I remember dining the discussion we quoted the Chinese slang, "A short sharp pain is preferable to a long-drawn suffering", meaning that if direct election were put off to there would be an uproar, but it would soon die down.
On the other hand, if direct election were introduced in cS it would be more difficult and troublesome for the Hong Kong Government to goNcrn in the next few years. We diseiissed sexeral issues and one c f" them was ahout tiie establishment of the Ilong Kong SAR ioxernment. This was the beginning of the "through train " concept. We did not want to dwell c. We conjured up the scenario of a Hong Kong resident charged with breaching national security and.
His untimely passing struck me, in retrospect, as ominous. During the greater part ot his tour and a half years of governor- ship Hong Kong was in an unsettling state. He was deeply inxohed in the Sino-British negotiations on the futiu"e of Hong Kong and, after the signing of the Joint Declaration, had initiated the difficult work of the transition. Though his tenure was not long, he had won the hearts and minds of the Hong Kong people. Sir Edward had treated me, his Senior Member of the Executive Council, as a friend and we spoke to each other frequently.
One day he told me that, with the Joint Declaration signed, he was able to take a vacation in the summer of 19 S6, returning to Britain partly to tidy his estate, which he had neglected during the past years. Sir Edward, perhaps with premonition of his death, said he felt much relieved because, having settled the domestic business, he would now be ready to take care of Lady Pamela, whatexer happened to him.
As always the Governor spoke of his wife with total respect and tenderness. Sir Edward made history with the Joint Declaration. He also made the same as the first incumbent governor to hax'c died in office. The whole community felt bereaved and the outpouring of grief reflected the affection in which he had been held. More than perhaps he himself had realized, he had woxen himself into the fabrics of Hong Kong society, and not just for the elite but, more movingly, for the ordinary people.
The tinicnil jiroccssioii oj the Icitc iovvnidr ' iiulc. John s Clatiictlral. Then the cluucli IkIIs tolled — a peal resonant throughout the financial district that had ceased its bustle in his memory. Sixteen palllicarers carried Sir I'-dward in his final joiirnc ' in Hong Kong.
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Among them wcic tlie Jiief. The Aetin;i4 iovernor. Whilst the scales of their responsibility — Sir Edward with Hong Kong and Zhuge with ]hina — differed, the substance of the men was the same for which the apt words are "total dedication". I share the editorial's sentiment to this date. Sir Edward Youde had another preoccupation, which was a mark of his x'ision.
The Governor concentrated on the future, ex'cn though that proved tragically short for him personally, not only with the Joint Declaration but also with the technological and economic transformation of society. His foresight would serve Hong Kong well as his part in the Sino-British talks did in another way. Throughout the s and s the territory was suffering from the lack of technicians to meet the growing needs of the booming manufacturing sector.
Unfortunately, Tant;dicd two years later, just weeks before the Committee could complete its report. The Polytechnic graduated into a university in and is flourishing in its centrally-located Ilunghom campus in Kowloon. The Polytechnic expanded spectacularly, enrolling more than 1 , full- time students by then, but still it could not cope with the rising demand. Manager, ]hen Shou-luni, as the Nice- chairman. Slienzhen had the adx'antages of ample and eheap land and labour at a tenth of those in Hong Kong.
Sir Edward foresaw Hong Kong and the Mainland symbiosis and knew the territory had to face a paradigm shift by replacing the exiting, senescent industries. He would do his part to usher in the high-tech revolution. This proposed Unixersity of Science and Technology UST xvould have to be different from its txxo prede- cessors and its suggested cachet xvas a focus on science and technology, as its name implied, plus management and postgraduate training. The Goxernor had a keen interest in the UST and consulteil xxith me often about its progress.
Though the terms of reference for the Planning! The UST began enrolment in September , three years earlier than the original target, accepting the initial batch of students for the phase one of the campus. The inaugural class of graduate students completed their studies in In the following year, its Business School was ranked by the Fiiuincial Times newspaper in London as the top in Asia and 4Sth in the world. This, to me, is iinfortiinate and a retrograde i" olicy that has caused Hong Kong to further lag behind the competition in advanced science and technology.
Myth of the UST Cost Overrun Since I have mentioned Sir Edward Youde s vision in establishing the University of Science and Technology, it would be appropriate for me, as someone caught up in the imbroglio from day one, to deal with the so-called "cost oxerrun" in the building of the UST campus.
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The Director of Audit in alleged massive cost overrun. His charge was misleading and based on a false premise. During that year Hong Kong introduced for the first time direct geographical election into the Legislative Council. Budding politicians took the opportunity to play up the controversy and attacked the establish- ment. The UST and those involved in its building thus became the scapegoat in this political drama. This "estimate" was based on Dr.
There was no budget per. The architects and other experts had t j rush in, to reconfigure and expand the building area. At the same time the RIIK. FC] had raised its donation to SI. At the time, June , the campus construction had only just started with the laying of the foundation and was much too soon to conclude what the final costs would be. The Director of Audit in his report of October compared the "budget" of S3. This was a sensational charge, which affected public confidence in the TST. No matter how one looks at this particular issue of the so called "cost oxerrun", a phrase against which 1 resent, no one could deny all the money spent was proper and for the good of the Unix'crsity and the younger generation.
The UST will no doubt continue to contribute to this transformation of the community; and for this, we have to be thankful to the late Sir Edward Youde for his wisdom and foresight. Basic Law Conundrum Drafting the Basic Law was a monumental enterprise entailing a complexity even more baffling than that had confronted the pioneering American Constitution framers in Philadelphia in the torrid summer of Those t'roni the Mainland and I long Kong who partook in the exercise had to obserxe the guidelines of the 'hinese Constitution, the Joint Declaration, and also the prexailing conditions and traditions of the territory.
Those from the Mainland side were chosen for their political status and knowledge of the Chinese Constitution. Whereas those so selected from Ilong Kong were picked for their public standing, patriotic credential, expertise, and understanding of what made the territory tick. The XP C deputized these 58 in. Specialized groups were established to facilitate tliscussion.
At this stage the. It has specific and explicit clauses safeguarding the Hong Kong SAR's capitalist economy, Common Law jurisprudence and financial system as well as the freedoms of association, religion, expression, property owncrshij" ;uid demon- stration. These guarantees appear especially remarkable considering what had transpired on the Mainland in 19S9 and the system that still continues up north.
Throughout the period of the I'asic Law drafting the liritish Hong Kong Government was not a passive obscrxer to the proceed- ings. This was done in the spirit of nnitual assistance and confidence. Whilst the Annex I to the. This can be seen in the Sub-section 1 of Aimex 1 to the. The chief c. The e. On the other hand, the ]hincsc also did not trust the Ihitish to craft a goxcrning system for the SAR.
The tempest on the Mainland just aggravated the dispiUcs, prompting several drafters to quit in protest. Such an exit was thought by the enlightened in the United Kingdom to be a gift to the natixes. However I regret to say how many of these former colonies did not flourish with democracy that was inunature, that was hasty, and that did not haxe time to take root in the connuunity.
These newly independent countries subsequently lapsed back into nepotistic rule or tyranny, if not anarchy. But then the truth is more often than not a hard and bitter medicine. The United Kingdom, which describes its legislature as 'the Mother of Parliaments", still has the Queen appoint people to tiie House of Lords to check and balance the C'ommons. The former Executixe and Legislatixe Councillor, Lo Tak-shing, a learned Oxford graduate and lawyer, in iiis capacity as the BLCC member, adx'ocatcd a bicameral system similar to that in the Tnitcd Kingdom only to haxe his wise counsel rejected.
Xonetheless, the Basic Law drafters eventually conjured up a format of separate xoting for the SAR legislatiux". The current practice is that motions and bills initiated by members themselves could only be passed if these had the majority stipport of the two sets of legislators — one lot for the functional constituencies and the other basically for the geographical and directh- elected constituencies. Such a beast, odd looking as it may be, actually gets the work done.
A donkey it may be but it has earned its fodder. Jotirncy fo RcuuiticatidU not to ciiuil. Back home the British entrust power to the elected House of Commons checked in turn by the appointed House of Lords. The party, which holds the majority of seats in the House of Commons, forms the government, whose nucleus is the cabinet.
Should a party fail to secure an absolute majority, it may cobble together a coalition, which, by nature, is wobbly. The British stay with the "first past the post" system of election, exen though some people, particularly the Liberal Party, arc adx'oeating "proportional representation". A British ruling party is totally powerful — despite ritual deference to the Constitutional Monarch and the House of Lords.
Quite often eleetions are deelared after reading the new budget in whieh the voters are nieeh' "bribed". The Congress is in tiuMi divided into the House of Representatives, with geographical eonstitueneies determined more or less by population, and the Senate, with each state, large or small, serving up a pair who, again, may be of opposing parties. Thus rivalry is institutional- ized and power is not monopolized.
The governance of the U. Some are saying after the most recent year presidential electoral fiasco, in whieh the Supreme Coiut ruled in favour of President George W. Bush, all the three pillars have become politicized. The president's party seldom holds the majority in the Congress and even if it did dissenters are many and the whips may not get them in line for controversial issues.
The head of the State can veto legislation, a power that may be overturned by two thirds majority in the Senate which in turn exercises a similar restraint on the House of Representatives. The U. Congress often postured but cxentually caxed in to the pressiu'c and to the fear of reprisal from a disenchanted electorate. The following are some of the salient features of the SAR political set up: 1 The ]hief Exceutixe and the legislators haxe different terms of office and are mostly not elected in the same year.
This is similar to the I'. This ;ii;ain is similar to the I'. It is therefore not surprising that some of the Councillors received invitations to join. If there were any leak of classified informa- tion one day, however inadvertent, the blame for that would rest with us and affect our public standing. Much as we wanted to contribute to the Basic Law, we finally resisted. The decision of oiu's has somehow leaked to the press and led to public discussion for a while. The commentary read in part: "hideed one reason w liy Sir S. Ihuni; ant! The Basie Law has to eonie, but they.
The change alarmed sober thinking people who accepted that the security of Hong Kong rested in part in not meddling in the domestic affairs of China. The late leader had won over some in the country by his liberal thinking. He was specially revered for his refusal two years Qa? His death was mourned and it also beeame a eatalyst tor the expression ot mass diseontent.
They thronged the eenotaph at Tiananmen and draped the shrine to the heroes of the rexolution with a mount of wreathes, refusing to disperse when ordered to do so. The mourners-turned protestors demanded that not only the party restore I hi posthimiously to the pantheon of rexolutionary martyrs but also taekle eorruption and promote demoeratie reform as the dead General Secretary had sought.
They were determined to defy the Government and finish the business of Hu. Many in Hong Kong who had been watching the drama being played out on local television, which gax'e the unfolding story ubiquitous coxerage, began to sympathize with the students in Beijing. Many Hong Kong people had been victims of the Communist Government and were particularly supportixe of the anti-goxernment movement.
Then the support-student movement started and quickly spread to the streets leading to the first major demonstration of a million people on 21 Akiy. Each time the Government up north upped the tempo of its rhetoric, the demonstrations intensified in Hong Kong. The cycle kept escalating and there xvas noxv no xvay for either side to back doxvn. The Gommunist Politburo met and then in late May denounced the demonstrators after the xirtual ouster of Premier Zhao Ziyang xvho had proposed a compromise.
The development ignited an already combustible situation as the students in Beijing intensified their campaign, draxving supporters in from the factories and ta? The troops, after two abortixe attempts to clear the st uare peacefully, on the night of 4. The footage of carnage shocked Hong Kong into a serious depression and another ralK' of a million people, now in grief, poiux'd onto the streets.
Sun Vat-sen, the father of the Kepublie. A few days later I saw- the Governor and queried him why a visa had been issued to a known anti-Gommunist person of such a high profile. Nonetheless I was surprised that Wang's name was not on the stop list in the Immigration Department, and expressed my concern to the Governor.
They further advocated total direct elections by , regardless of Chinese objections. It was. They held tirm to their o[Mnion. The inherent discriminatory quota only aggravated class tensions. The British Government also succumbed to the UMELGO lobbying by expanding the number of directly elected scats in Legislative Council for from 10 to 18 and raising that total again to 20 by , above and beyond what the Basic Law had earlier prescribed as the proper pace of reform.
Even such eon- cessions failed to appease some proponents of democracy. The liritish Prime. Margaret Thatcher, in her memoirs. The Do-wnirifi Street Years puhhshed in , recalled that in , her final year in power, how her loxcnmient had come under strong prcssiu'c. She felt that tile leaders in P ciiini4 were extremely nerxous. She decided that l ritain would need to wait for calmer times before making movies for faster democratization in llong Konii.
The Chinese leadership was feeling aeuteh' aiipreheiisixe. We need to wait for calmer times before considering moxes towartls. These considerations, I believe, were the spin" behind Ihina appointing the local people as its adx'isors on Hong Kong affairs. Lo during the drafting of the Basic Law was a prominent member of the Basic Law Consultatixe Committee leading a group of young businessmen and professionals. I had also retired from aetixe business and owned no interest on the Mainland. The Joint Deelaration was more than sex-en years old and the future of llon;!
I also realized, at the age of 75, I miiiht not haxe long to go but still wanted to serve Hong Kong. Like the previous occasions I mtiUcd over the inx'itation and, unlike the last two times, accepted the challenge. This prompted some critics to deride and decry my decision, calling me all sorts of coloiu'ful names. I brushed off these slurs and insults because my conscience was clear. When I had embarked on the public service, I had never considered myself as an agent of the British or, later, of the Chinese jovcrnments because my loyalty was always to my native Hong Kong.
The induction for the first batch took place in licijing on 1 1 March at the Great Hall of the People with a grand ceremony presided over by Premier Li Peng. The ex'cnt was televised in Hong Kong which again got tongues wagging that somehow I had "changed sides", a charge that was as juvenile as it was wrong. We served in our individual capacity. We were free to speak our minds. The essay was divided into nine sections: 1 Ilonii Kong's post-war political dexclopment.
Lii I'ing on I had altogether matle a total of 15 written submissions to both l. The decision about building the new airport was actually one of the two major measures by which the ioxernment in October hoped to bolster confidence in the territory after the Tiananmen incident in Beijing. It would be a two- runway airport capable to operate 24 hours a day. The new airport was scheduled to open the first of the two runways by the early part of It was then thought it could proceed without gaining Chinese approbation, which proved to be folly.
Hong Kong became a Special Administratixc Region and lliina had to be consulted and agreed as the loan guarantor. So rclnctanth' the Hong Kong ioxerninent. The Mainland loNcnnnent. The talks stalled and the bickering connncneed as the two sides nigglctl ant! Tiic I'. Put this assumption was wrong. Though the work on the airport eould begin, the wrangling eontinued. It was a long story, let me explain! The British had in the beginning told the Chinese that the new airport would eost Sll 1. The Chinese were wary, suspecting that the project was a means for Britain to plunder the territory's accrued wealth before the retreat.
So these were the major financial terms in the agreement. On 4 March the Hong Kong Government introduced the annual budget to the Legislative Council projecting spectacular surpluses that would, by 1 July , top up the reserves to S78 billion, more than three times of what had been bargained and agreed in the Memorandum of ITnderstanding signed only six months ago.
The startled Ihiiiese were xery dismayed by sueh cost escalation and then asked the liritish to cap the cost spiral but the British refused. The appointment certificate presentation ceremony for the advisors took place in Bcijin;i; on 1 1 March at the Ircat Hall of the People. Lu reckoned it xxas dubious ami aiisurd for the l ritish to promise initiallx' onix- S5 billion in rescrxcs for the SAP in , Nxhich xxas ec uixalent to onlx' four per cent of the total goxcrnnicnt annual expenditure of S 1 20 billion for the coming fiscal x'car.
Lu found it incomprehcnsix c th. S billion. Just as the Government was raking in more money, it was also spending less as government engineering projects, particularly those core projects for the airport, had been delayed. The rumours suggested that Prime Minister John Major, feeling humiliated by his September trip to Beijing, would appoint someone much more belligerent towards the Chinese than had Sir Daxid, a career diplomat and China expert. China, hearing this rumour and in turn, would probably use the airport project as leverage and the ensuing bickering would shrill and incessant.
Kids & Y.A.
One ot these, the Keonomie Speeiahzed iroup, in. We first discussed in depth the financial aspects of the project and made the following four recommendations to the Chinese Government: 1 Loans taken out by the I'roxisional Airport Authoritx' and the Airport Railway Corporation should be treated as goNcrnment loans. China should retiuest the liritish to inject more capital into the project and minimize the debts.
IIoul; Kouii's Journey to Ri. The appointment of those directors of the board straddling should be made Jointly by both Govern- ments. Any major mortgaging, acquisition of assets outside the airport, and raising loans shoidd be agreed by the board of directors and approved by the Financial Secretary. Strengthen the structure of the board so as to expedite its process of decision-making and install its mechanism of checks and balances. Any activity outside the airport boundary should need prior approxal of the Government.
Inly S. It was officially opened by the Chinese President, Jiang Zemin, on 2. IiiK' and then opened for bnsiness on 6 July. IS directly elected antl 21 elected from the functional eonstitueneies. IlieN' also boosted 14 members in the legislatnre, m. Idunicy to Rciniificiition Plate J.
Cclchndion of die 4th Anniversary nf the Liberal I'artv, Lee and Poon then approached me for counsel and I conjured up an analogy to motix'ate them into doing more than forming the Centre, a salon for kindred spirits. I compared their plight to a group of 10 or 15 people locked into a lions cage.
The lot of them might co-o " erate eiionuli to tlcfend but not tocoiU iier. I suggest. However, as the Chairman of the Conservative Party, he had led the party to win the general election, earning the gratitnde of John Major. One of the very first major changes he had made within a few months of his arrival was to divorce the Executive Council from the Legislative Council.
But Patten was not really the author of the separation. Lo together with some of his colleagues in BPF had travelled to London in May to lobby Patten quietly before the Englishman came to the Colony to be its last Governor. The ioxernor iiromiset! During this period the Senior Member of the K. I'attcn accepted all the resignations, except one — that of Duini w ho was "re-aiipointcd" as the Senior Membci" among a new cicw. This outcome had created resentment among some of her former colleagues. Macao Affairs tfiee.
He wouKI. I reckoned correclU as it luiiK'd out. The Colony by had a majority elected legislature with nearly one third of its members geographically directly elected. These directly elected members considered themsches as representatives of the people. The dc facto "royal opposition" would then attempt to block the bills behind such a policy and force a showdown.
Nonetheless, it would be difficult to predict the outcome of these political battles. The Governor invited me on 6 August 1 to his residence, the Government House, to discuss his political plans. I said that it was the only way out for him under the obtainint; eireimistanees at that time.
Pattens Political Reform The first Miincsc ]hief. His retoiiu package contained two maJDr. S District I'. The IWitish Amb. The l ritish side agreed to negotiate init only, it said, after the speech had been read on 7 October without any deletion or elision on the issue of reform. There were five main features to the package that Fatten was to imx'cil: 1 Lower the Noting age to LS from 21 years.
The proposed new system was in fact direct election on the occvipational basis, with an estimated number of v'oters of about 2. Patten promptly replied on K Oetober, rebutting my elaims and saying that the eomposition ot the Eleetion Committee tor was nf t speeihed in the liasie Law. Lu Bing.
Her Majesty's ioxernment apparently figured that by pre-empting the other side it could gain the momenttun in the battle for public opinion. Once again, the Chinese had learned another lesson from the British on diplomatic cunning. As the row worsened the British further poiued oil onto the fire. The timing and the contents so incensed the Chinese side that they used their media to condemn Patten, denoimeing him as an agitator and a villain for all history. The situation appeared to have calmed, but it was calm before the storm. These talks went on for nine months and 17 rounds, only five rounds less than in the negotiations over the Joint Declaration, and with no "happy ending" for the travail.
In the aeeount the Chinese Foreign Ministrv' spokesman discoursed on the 1 7 rounds of talks lastin. The hook disclosed that the Hiinese side had acquiesced to the Hritish demand on the abolition of the aiipoiiit- ments to the district boards and numicipal eoimcils. The Chinese had also agreed to dropping the voting age to IS and accepting the arrangement for total imixcrsal franchise to the elections of the district boards and municiiial councils,. Karlicr the llritish and Chinese ioxernments had agreed to split the negotiations iiuo two stages.
The first stage was to deal with the district board and municipal council elections whereas the second with the Legislative ioimcil elections. What galleil the Ihincse too w. The lov ernor ascribed the tailure in negotiations to the ihinese not aiireeiiig to "single-seat, single-vote lor the Ll-. This was consistent with the ihincse siaiement. Not only did the talks not aehiexe an aeeord, these had aetiially worsened the aerimony. The British could not expect to set a political course outside the scope of the.
In short, as long as China does not xiolate the Sino-British. I had at times discussed with British officials why they insisted on abolishing appointments to the district boards and mimicipal councils when in their own country they still maintained their appointment system in the House of Lords comprising aristocrats, dignitaries and retired politicians.
While the Lords had been shorn of the xeto power since 1, the upper chamber could still block or delay legishttion for up to a year. I queried how they could Justify their appointments while revoking these for the colonial district boards and municipal councils. The Tories in S had proposed restructuring the Lords by making two thirds of them elected but still with a third appointed.
Ex'cn this half-hearted reform was not carried out. I also reminded the British that before Fatten was himself appointed to be the last Governor of Hong Kong he, as the Chairman of the Conservative Party under John Major, did not champion reforming or remox'ing the Lords. The new ioxcrnor then prompth' confronted the Chinese about political appointments, a moralh' dubious stance, since when a person cleans up he should start at home. There were mixed fceliuiis by the public, some were optimistic, others pessimistic. But still, all in all, there was hope.
In this article I examined their disparate tactics, steeping my assessment in my knowledge of their histories and inclinations. I figured he would unleash a furious campaign of propaganda, based on the motto of "fairness, openness and acceptability to the Hong Kong people" to win oxer the Hong Kong public, sway the British media, and garner international support. Twitting Ihina was easy when it came at somebody elses expense. I felt the P ritish would not budge and the Ihinese could not gix'e, and failure was inexitable.
I wisiietl my prognosis had been wrong for once. I also said to Lu aiul Zhou thai, inxspcctixe of the outcome of the negotiations. I asked them to concentrate on overseeing the construction of the new airport, expanding the container terminals, and increasing the land supply so as to forge the futtne of SAR. The Chinese should institute an effective monitoring mechanism of all these projects to ensure that the SARs inheritance was not looted or squandered and this would earn the gratitude of the people, if not right away, then certainly in time.