Category Archives: Thoughts

Thank you, Carrie Lam

Thank you Carrie
For listening to your people,
The Executive Council
That you appoint,
And the DAB.

Thank you for your sensitivity
To anger in Beijing
And the Liaison office.
To whom you must listen
And obey.

Thank you for your humility
In telling us, the Hong Kong people,
We still don’t understand —
That it was all just a case
Of miscommunication.

Thank you for your sacrifice
To carry on regardless
Of what the people demand,
In an untenable position
For the good of Hong Kong.

Thank you for your trust
In Hong Kong people,
Peaceful and ordered, we obey
The law, mostly.
You called a riot.

Thank you for your courage
To stand with those with batons,
Licking their wounds and reputations
As Asia’s Finest
They once could claim.

Thank you mother
For not listening to our fears,
And beating us, your children
With the best intentions
For our own good.

Thank you, Carrie.
Now that He has abandoned you
Where will you go?
To join your family, perhaps
In another place?

(A Poem written after Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s announcement in suspending the controversial extradition law on 15 June)

一隻狗的故事與香港中產善變的態度 A dog’s life, and changing attitudes among Hong Kong’s middle class

編按:這故事是關於 Evan 家中小狗——雖然可能只是軼事,但亦悲哀地反映了香港變遷,是其中一件顯示出這個城市擁有特權的人之間表現出越來越自我中心與不合理態度的事。

This is the story of Evan’s family dog. It is a story that reflects sadly on a way Hong Kong has changed. It may be anecdotal, but it is one of many that demonstrate an increasing ego and unreasonableness among the city’s more privileged people.

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“Hello Mr To” — The pleasures of simple greetings

I was now at the head of the queue. I was at a government office, waiting patiently in line to be served. On the tannoy a voice called out a number, and I made my way over to the booth.

Behind the glass sat a middle aged man. His face was well groomed, cleanly shaven and his hair combed to a side parting. He wore dark brown plastic glasses, inexpensive but well cared for. Though the office environment was a controlled temperate, outside it was autumn. He wore a dark grey hooded jumper over an off-white shirt. Indeed, there was much about the man that was autumn: in his age and the slight stoop of his body; in what he wore and the way he wore it; and in the way he moved sheets of paper between a copier and his small desk.

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法律、倫理與天堂文件 Law, Ethics and The Paradise Papers

Whilst the releasing this week of the Paradise Papers has lead to much debate on the legal and ethical issues concerning the operation of offshore financial entities, Evan notes little is written or said about the wider context of the relationship between ethics, law, taxation, sovereignty and the social contract. This, he argues, is what many people find so disconcerting: that the industry exposes an internal contradiction within the foundation of what we have come to accept as a modern and just society.

編按: 本週流出的「天堂文件」引發了諸多爭論,當中主要圍繞離岸金融實體運作的法律和倫理問題。 Evan 指出,關於倫理、法律、稅收、主權和社會契約之間更廣泛的關係,並未有太多的討論。他認為,這些關係是許多人覺得如此令人不安:這個行業暴露出的矛盾,卻是遠超我們所接受的現代公正社會基礎之外。

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Book review: Free Will by Sam Harris

The late Christopher Hitchens was once asked whether he believed in free will. His reply was classic Hitchens. “Well I have to say yes.”

Sam Harris, a friend of Hitchens, would no doubt have laughed approvingly. Whilst Harris may lack his friend’s witt and encyclodepic knowledge, he does have a focus and a sombriety that does add substance to the argument. His style is simple, engaging and unashamedly popular. What he lacks in detail and supporting argument he makes up with a tight focus on what is relevant to what he is proposing.

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The Eurasian Face

“Where are you from?”

As a Eurasian I am often asked this question. I do not believe it is because I am for any reason particularly noteworthy in either my looks, habits or actions. I’ve tended to be one for blending in to a crowd. I do not stand tall, model-like, proclaiming my desirability with a toothy smile and tight jeans. So it pains me to admit it’s unlikely to be a chat up line.

And the question where I am from is often followed by a guess.

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The Two Worlds of Times Square

At Times Square in Causeway Bay there are two long flights of escalators. The first carries people from street level up in to the atrium. The second carries shoppers further up and on to the first of several shopping levels.

I got to know Times Square and the surrounding neighbourhood twenty years ago when, as a secondary school student, I made some extra pocket money running errands for a company whose offices were in Tower 1. Each day that summer I would take the escalators.

The first flight of escalators brought me to the office lifts. It was a Times Square that I slowly discovered – a place of drab cubicles, laminated desks and hissing photocopiers; and a place of work. The second escalator brought me to the Times Square I knew. It was a more familiar and welcoming place. My mother would buy tennis shoes for the family here, and a few storeys up was the games arcade where I would meet friends. I never particularly liked the mall, but it was still an environment I recognised, and a place I could understand within the context of living in Hong Kong.

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