Sunday, July 23, 2006

Political Agenda

I am considering running for Legco in the next year or two. If I did the purpose would be to simply rock the political boat a bit and get my name in the paper because I am not part of the good-old-boy network here and didn’t graduate from either HKU or a university in the UK I have no real hope of being elected.

Here is my political agenda for Hong Kong which I reserve the right to modify or change without notice.
  • Universal suffrage for all Hong Kong Citizen above the age of 21.

  • Revoke the corporate monopolies on cross harbor tunnels and set all of the fees at HKD $30.00 for a round trip. That would allow people and delivery drivers to choose the tunnel need rather than the one they could afford. In other words, like the rest of the civilized world.

  • Require real-estate developers to advertise the actual interior dimensions of flats without adding part of the outside walls elevator lobby, stairs or other intangible additions to floor space. In other words, like the rest of the world.

  • Abolish the functional Constituencies in Legco. In other words, like the rest of the civilized world.

  • Require a 67% positive referendum before any form of a sales, goods and services or VAT tax could be imposed. Given the prominence of street vendors and hawkers such a tax would be impossible to fairly enforce and fall unduly on retailers with a street address.

  • Institute a HKD$1000.00 per container tax on all cargo containers that go through the port. (See previous post on this subject)

  • Petition the central government to form a Hong Kong regiment of the PLA. Station that regiment in Hong Kong rather than the non-Hong Kong soldiers who are now here. In order to ensure that the regiment was fully staffed require every male to serve from the ages of 19 to 21 with no deferments. My son, your son, Donald Tsang’s son Tung Che Wah’s son. Then provide every veteran of the Hong Kong regiment with a scholarship and guaranteed admission to the state sponsored universities (See below)

  • Rather than onerous and freedom limiting anti-smoking laws being currently proposed require restaurants to obtain a smoking license in the same way that they must have a liquor license. If they have the license then it is a smoking establishment if they do not have the license then it is non-smoking.

  • Restrict immigration and from China to people that can actually help Hong Kong. I really wonder about the apparent slew of 70 something year-old men with 30 something mainland wives.

  • Increase the amount of land used for residential development and build enough flats so that the cost falls by 60% then greatly scale back the public housing authority. (Currently 53% of all Hong Kong Citizens live in government subsides housing at a huge cost to the government) Then use government surpluses to make a one time payment to homeowners to over the loss of equity for the middle and upper middle classes to a maximum of two flats. Then scale back the now unneeded public housing subsidies.

  • Set Civil Servant and Legco pay at a maximum of 2.5 times the Hong Kong Median Income. If they want a raise make Hong Kong wealthier place overall.

  • Make all civil servants participate in a lottery for their jobs. 1/3 of them should simply be fired. A lottery is the fairest way and would stand the best chance of getting rid of the incompetent higherups.

  • Abolish the ESF. There needs to be an English language public school in Hong Kong but the ESF is corrupt and not worth the money. Abolish them and start over.

  • Combine Open University with City University and Polytechnic University, they all serve the same income and educational level students. Fire 2/3’s of the administrators.

  • Combine Baptist University with Lingnan University; as they are both there roots in Christian organization. Cease giving them direct government funding and let them revert to private institutions

  • Combine the University of Science and Technology and the Institute of Education with Chinese University.

  • Let The University of Hong Kong become a private institution.  Let them set their own tuition, and maintain the English instruction as they should. Allow them to really become the Harvard of Asia.
This would reduce the number of state supported Universities in Hong Kong from a bloated 8 to a more manageable 2 (City/Open/Poly and Chinese/UST/I. Ed. There would be three private universities HKU Baptist/Lingnan/Shue Yan.
Currently many of the degrees awarded by these institutions are nearly worthless anyway doing this would improve the degrees from Open and City and Poly-tech because they could use the savings gained from sacking redundant administrators and majors to improve the combined areas left.  This would give Baptist and Lingnan a way to serve a niche that is currently not served in Hong Kong.
  • Reduce class size in Chinese public schools from 44 to 24 students

  • Simplify the way schools are classified by the EMB They should be either government or Private and then classed by the medium of instruction.  So private-English medium of instruction or Government and medium of instruction. Any of the old, so called “Elite” schools on Hong Kong Island that don’t want to abide by this can become private schools.

  • Institute a mandatory recycling program. Not necessarily as draconian as the one in Tokyo but make it easier to reduce waste.

  • Require electrical companies to have modern pollution controls on their plants rather than none like they have now.

  • Require buss companies to have modern pollution controls on their busses rather than the 1970’s era devices they now have.

  • Stop reclaiming the harbor. If they need to reclaim something try South Hong Kong Island near the cyber port.

  • Remind people and businesses that Hong Kong is one city. If they build a corporate headquarters in Yuen Long rather than Central they are still in Hong Kong.We cannot keep adding traffic and congestion to Hong Kong Island. The only way to reduce this problem is to not issue buildning permits for Central, Wan Chai and the "high zoot" areas of the Island. Use the whole SAR guys that way we don't need the big ugly elevated roads along the waterfront. Related to this would be an some zoning laws that wouldn't let a developer build a 62 story tall residential building on a two-lane road that cannot be widened and that cannot support the traffic generated by the project. Bonham Road is an abomination at rush hour because the road cannot safely carry that much traffic.

  • Implement a unified pedestrian plan that makes it easier to walk by widening sidewalks and restricting traffic and delivery times

  • Put some teeth in environmental law penalties

  • A 48 hour work week regardless of whether an employee is on salary or hourly wage with mandatory  time and half overtime.(This is still higher than most of the world)

  • A HKD$25.00 per hour minimum wage. This is still very low.

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