Monday, December 13, 2004

What is the relation between Politics and Economy

Hong Kong is full of the political voices now. West Knowloon Cultural District, an intergrated art, cultrual, and entertainment district, are being discussed by people from different society classes. It definitely creates a beautiful picture for Hong Kong, and it definitely creates tons of jobs to Hong Kong people. But why they oppose to it, at least from the voice of newspaper?

Here is some quote of opposing voices from the latest South China Morning Post( not available online), the largest English newspaper in Hong Kong:

" There has been strong concern that the cultural hub could turn into another commercially driven property project."

" The government has come under fire for its insistence on building the giant canopy over the cultural district. Lord Foster believed such a design would reduce the temperature of the sheltered area, according to Kwan Pak-lam of the Civil Engineering and Development Department."

"Activists are hoping tens of thousands of people will turn out for a New Year's Day rally targeting poverty and alleged collusion between government and big business. Some of them are concerning about the West Kowloon tendering process and power to be granted to the successful bidder"

In a word, what they concern about is that businessmen will make great profit from the project, without sharing them with the poor. But businessmen are always making money, which is the soul of the city. Li Ka-shing is one of the legends in Hong Kong, who inspires people to persue their dream here. They, of course, want to make money from the government, from the employee, and the poor, just like the capital in the free global market. One of my readings these days, is "George Soros on globalizatioin". He believed that capital is the most libralised factor in the globalization. It is not wrong, but people should also focus on others, like community, law, environment and other factors, which is the responsibility of the government, in another words, relating with politics. Then my question is: Does Economy growth always go ahead of Politics? Should Politics try to catch up with Economy or inhibit instead?

Some officials from the administration scolded one of the Parties in Hong Kong, that it is attacting people's votes on the expense of inhibiting economy. Maybe he is right, but the reason is not the that Party's fault only. It is the global problem, and the two strength are fighting with each other. It is hard to say who will win at last.


hegelchong said...

What at stake in the controversy about West Kowloon is not about the conflict between economy and politics. Even small real estate developers complain about the model of single consortium. The project of West Kowloon only favors the interest of a handful of local developers. It's very funny that even international corporates are excluded from this project. They have to get a piece of the pie from one of the three local companies bidding the tender.

Further, economic growth does not necessarily bring welfare, no need to say happiness, to people directly. If the economic growth is doing harm to the people, why shouldn't we "inhibit" it? The incident of Hunghom Peninsula is a good example, isn't it?

Amy or koala said...

Small business may have to complain protest because they can't compete with the larger developers and can't make money. International companies can't be included because people will also protest them as they can't stand for Hong kong's culture.
Now my question is if the people's concen is whether the West Kowloon Cultural District should be set up or it should be set up by various developers.
As you said in the last paragraph, how could you equal with "no help" to " harmful"? It is two different things, isn't it?

hegelchong said...

I have never said that "no help" is "harmful". I don't understand why you come up with this point.

There are many voices against government's plan of West Kowloon. You may not agree with them. But at least you should understand what they are talking about. Favouring several big local developer is only one of the problems. More than 150 people had attended a forum held in Cattle Depot on 12/12 and many participants challenged this project. I suggest you visit the following URLs if you could read Chinese:

Amy or koala said...

"Further, economic growth does not necessarily bring welfare, no need to say happiness, to people directly. If the economic growth is doing harm to the people, why shouldn't we "inhibit" it?" That's where I get the conclusion of "no help" equal with "harmful"

I can read Chinese in fact, and I can understand, in some extent, that the people in the West Kowloon Association(I don't the exact English name) are opposing to the fact that one of the three developers will get the contract. But why they didn't oppose it at the first time the plan was raised? As I know, it was raised for public consultation far beyond Nov.

hegelchong said...

I'm talking about "if". If there is a plan for economic growth is not doing harm and even good for the people, we shouldn't "inhibit" it. The proposal of tearing down the Hunghom Pennisular is a plan for economic growth doing harm to the people.

I'm sorry that my English is probably not good enough to make my point clear. But are you too sensitive to any idea of "inhibiting" economic growth? (Just a question. Not judging you.)

They did at the very beginning. Some artists and cultural workers have opposed Donald Tsang's idea and plan for a long time. Probably you didn't notice it or have forgotten it. And even many people didn't oppose it before. I don't see why they couldn't oppose it now if they have good reasons now.

Are you supporting Donald Tsang's idea? Don't be shy. Tell us your idea and standpoint.

Amy or koala said...

As I said, I am just an outsider here. So I don't think I have the right to support or oppose the things happening here. But what I can do it using my heart to sense the truth. For WKID, I just think if it can create much more job for people, it would be great. I can understand, in some extent, that people are worried that it will be developed as another project like cyberpot. But that can't be the good reason to inhibit it. People can try to improve it to be a perfect plan.
I read an article from some insiders yesterday. He said that it would be too early to say people win in the Hunghom peninsula issue. The developers will pay more to restucture each block in the building, which means the people, especially the poor people, will pay more to buy the house. I admit it is a complex issue and maybe I am not that smart enought to figure it out. But what I want to say is that people need to measure all the factor first before judging it.
To me, the newspaper is full of anti-business voice. It is not fair or neutral.

hegelchong said...

To prevent Donald Tsang from pushing forward his plan is an attempt to improve the cultural district. We could have many ways different from Donald's to create this district.

"To me, the newspaper is full of anti-business voice. It is not fair or neutral."

It depends on whose business you're talking about. Have you read how the newspapers talk about LINK? Most of them condemn the citizens who oppose the listing of LINK.

I suggest you read the following two articles:
About LINK

About West Kowloon

Amy or koala said...

Thanks for your links. Do you think every citizen should join some the project and speak there? How many of them indeed know the details? I agree with the point of this article,
Media and politicians are creating the topics for the need of the market, like Link Reit.