Friday, January 21, 2005

Makes Howard look like a real innovator

A quick closing post on Hong Kong...

Since the handover in 1997, governing HK has been a case of steady-as-she-goes. There seems to be a determined effort to not bring about any major changes or reforms. Perhaps the greatest embodiment of this laissez faire attitude to governance is the do-nothing Chief Executive, the doddering old fart that is Tung Chee-Hwa. Tung made headlines last week by delivering his annual State of the Nation (or perhaps State of the SAR in HK's case), and spent the vast bulk of it flaggelating himself for his government's sins for the previous 12 months. This has the ingenious effect of taking on his critics by agreeing with them whole-heartedly.

Tung is a hack straight from the Central Party in Beijing, and acts in the sort of creative way that Central Party hacks tend to act. It was surprising that he was given a second five year term when his first one expired in 2002, and it would be no disappointment if he didn't make it all the way to the finish line in this term. A dynamic vibrant city like HK needs a vibrant, energentic leadership to match. In this case it is sadly lacking.

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