By: GOH KylanEdited by: Editor

Carrie Lam: HK youth should move to Hainan for jobs and the chicken

  • 2021-04-21

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she hoped more Hong Kong youth would embark on careers in Hainan on Tuesday. In a social media post, the city’s leader said Hainan officials will be thrilled to provide employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for Hongkongers. “I hope to see young people from Hong Kong go to Hainan for internship, employment and entrepreneurship and enjoy the shadow of the coconut trees and the Hainanese chicken rice that Hong Kong people love,” she said after attending the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021. Mrs Lam’s mention of Hainanese chicken rice went viral on the internet. “Hainanese chicken rice is a Singaporean and Malaysian cuisine. You should apologize to the people of Singapore and Malaysia,” a netizen commented on her post. “Go for it, Mrs Lam! As a special economic zone, Hainan Island is full of opportunities,” another netizen commented. In April 2018, President Xi Jinping announced the entire Hainan Island will be turned into an international free trade port. The massive project is expected to be completed by 2035, with many Chinese netizens saying it is a move believed to replace Hong Kong. “I think Hainan will not replace Hong Kong, because Hong Kong has its uniqueness such as the judicial system. Although this has been continuously weakened in recent years, it is still better than Hainan,” said Jolyn Choi, a student at the University of Hong Kong. “I would not go to Hainan for Hainanese chicken rice as well. Why not go to Singapore?” Ms Choi added. Mrs Lam left Hainan for Guangzhou, where she will attend the meeting of the Leading Group for the Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area tomorrow.

Hong Kong should consider dropping Astrazeneca vaccine, top pandemic advisors say

  • 2021-04-07

Hong Kong should cancel 7.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca expected to arrive in July, according to Dr. David Hui, a Covid-19 government advisor. Speaking on a Commercial Radio programme, the respiratory disease expert said the AstraZeneca vaccine only provided 10% protection against the South African variant, a strain which might be more infectious. Dr Hui also suggested the government should suspend its purchase of the AstraZeneca vaccine because it might cause blood clots. He added the government could instead look for other vaccines which can cover the South Africa variant, or some second-generation vaccines. Dr Hui’s advice was echoed by Dr. Ho Pak-leung, another Covid-19 advisor, who also said the authorities should withdraw the AstraZeneca vaccine if it is found to be related with blood clots. In February, the Astrazeneca vaccine was suspended in at least ten European countries after reports of several deaths among vaccine recipients. German health authorities announced last week that people aged 60 years and over will be eligible for the vaccine. The uncertainty of the situation has changed some people’s vaccination plan. Kitty Sze, a 21-year-old student studying in the UK, said she might consider other vaccines such as the BioNTech jab. “I was originally going to take the AstraZeneca vaccine during the summer and go back to the UK for in-person classes. But my parents have urged me not to take this vaccine. I am worried too,” said Ms Sze. Currently, the European Medicines Agency is conducting an investigation on the vaccine and a conclusion is expected to be released shortly.

Society

Hong Kong resumes BioNTech vaccination after 12-day suspension

Hong Kong resumes BioNTech vaccination after 12-day suspension Hong Kong's BioNTech vaccination programme started again on Monday after a batch of the vaccine was found to have defective packaging on March 24. The injections offered from today come from a new batch of 300,000 doses that arrived last Saturday. Two previous batches are temporarily on hold until an investigation is completed by the manufacturer. People who could not get their vaccination during the week-long stoppage are automatically reassigned new time slots by the Centre for Health Protection. A notification is sent to their phones. "I am actually still a little worried, but I heard that the second dose must be given within a limited time after the first dose," said Ngan Lap-wing, a 62-year-old man who received his first shot on March 10. He originally booked a second shot on April 1. The city's vaccination booking system showed that all bookings of the BioNTech jabs are taken in the coming two days. "I had obvious side effects such as a fever after getting the first dose, and the second dose I received was a new batch. So I think it should be effective," said Alfred Lau, a 35-year-old banker who had his second shot today. By April 4, about 151,400 people in Hong Kong have received the first dose of the BioNTech vaccine and about 600 have also had their second shot, according to the latest figures released by the government.

Society

Hong Kong Vaccination

Hong Kong has expanded the Covid vaccination programme to include students over 16 years old who study abroad. Kylan Goh qualifies and he shares his experience.

Society

China Two Sessions: proposal to cancel English as a main high school subject

A member of the National People's Congress, Liu Weichao has proposed to drop English as a compulsory subject in primary and junior high schools in mainland China. In the annual meeting that is currently held in Beijing, Mr Liu said " foreign language education has a serious impact on mother tongue learning and imposes an undue pressure on students". Mr. Liu suggested that schools should only offer English subjects from high school and put more effort on training students' practical skills such as speaking and listening. The proposal has gone viral on the Chinese internet. Some netizens said it is more important to have English rather than mathematics. "As an international language, I think English is still very important now. I hope my children can learn English well and have the opportunity to explore the world in the future," Binting Cai, a mother of a four-year-old child, said on WeChat. English is currently a compulsory subject in primary and secondary schools across China. Students are required to attend at least one class everyday. "I think this is very unreasonable, because elementary and junior high schools are the golden age of learning English," said Edward Liao, an English tutor in New Oriental, one of China's biggest private tutorial centres. "If students start to learn letters and phonetic symbols from high school, this will increase the workload of high school teachers," Mr Liao added. This is not the first time deputies at the annual Two Sessions propose to cut back on English education. On March 4, Xu Jin, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) said it is unnecessary for students to learn a language that he described as "useless" for most people. In an interview with Beijing News, Mr Xu said that less than …

Business

Live streaming commerce triggers another wave of consumption

"Don't go to sleep! Stay awake! Or you will lose hundreds of yuan!" A male live anchor yelled on the mobile phone screen, banging a gong. It was already 12 o'clock in midnight. Li Yuqing, a 20-year-old student from The Open University of Hong Kong, couldn't take her eyes off this live stream conducted by Austin Li, one of the hottest live streamers in mainland China. Meanwhile, another 100 million viewers tuned in, just like Ms Li.  Ms Li spent one thousand yuan on skin care products, pet supplies, and some luxuries from this live streamed show. It lasted seven hours and closed 8.809 million orders worth 690 million yuan. "Live streamers can provide more detailed explanations of the goods during live streaming, as well a lower price and more freebies," Ms Li said. This year's Double Eleven sales promotion activities have kicked off from Oct.21, with series of live broadcasts on the mainstream social media platform. According to the E-commerce live broadcast daily rank, the total revenue created by top 20 sales anchors from Taobao, Kuaishou, Tik Tok, reached 7.26 billion yuan on one day. This sales model releases huge consumption potential, drives the resumption of production and work, and becomes an important engine of traditional consumption and economic transformation. In February, over 30,000 sales anchors accessed to Taobao per day. The number of new anchors can see 100%. New live broadcasts as well as a 110% year-over-year growth in Gross Merchandise Volume. According to Sohu, Guangzhou Live E-commerce Research Institute and data provider Datastory jointly issued a live e-commerce trend report. The report reveals that the average of live views peaked in July at 2.4 million, but the average of each live streaming sales was at the lowest point during the same period, and turned to rise in …

Business

China's push on "street vendor economy" faces urban challenges

It is 4pm, Wang Jiayu brings a large parcel of toys to Archaize Street, in order to occupy a good position for the coming night before other vendors trickle in. The Street is the paradise for the night market in Datong, a city in Shanxi Province in mainland China. Every night, there are a host of vendors selling various goods. Wang Jiayu is one of the "familiar faces" of the street stall here as she has been setting up her stall since early June this year.  But they sold almost nothing, as if no one is visiting. She was so idle that she played with her pet dog, Lala. "Since school started, fewer people would like to hang out and we lost lots of customers," said Mrs.Wang.  She said her sales were 50% less than the summer vacation as the amounts of tourists and students significantly decreased. The goods she provides, such as toy cars and cartoon character models, are mostly targeted to children aged 5-12 who need to go to school on weekdays and busy with homework or tutorial classes at the weekend.  Apart from the instability caused by the fluctuation of the holidays, the street vendor economy also brings pressure to the city's sanitation, even affecting the physical stores.  Gao Yizhen, this 67-year-old man, is the cleaner of Archaize Street. He always works up late to make sure the streets are clean the next day since they night markets are not closing until midnight, "it is too exhausted to clean up until three in the morning." During summer vacation, when the night market with a large people flow is over, garbage such as plastic bags and bamboo sticks could be seen everywhere in this street. In addition to sweep the trash, the most difficult part for him was …

Politics

Masses gather at Prince Edward despite police banning placing flowers

Hongkongers mourned with flowers outside Prince Edward MTR station Monday evening - the 15-month anniversary of the 831 incident - despite police warning that those laid flowers might face prosecution.   Three people were fined for littering after presenting flowers near the exit around 4 pm, said Mong Kok East constituency District Councillor Ben Lam Siu-pan. "We just peacefully give flowers at the Prince Edward station. The police still crack down on us. It is ridiculous," Mr Lam said.  Mr Lam and other pan-democracy district councillors used to collect flowers left by protesters on the last day of every month outside the station. This year, they moved the paper boxes to Mr Lam's nearby office so that the ceremony could continue.  "The spirit still lives. We do not forget the 831 incident," he added.  Police have been accused of indiscriminately beating up passengers with batons and using pepper spray inside train compartments amid arrests of anti-extradition protesters in the railway station in August last year.  Rumours claimed someone died in the raid while officials declined. At least seven people were injured in the incident.  The city's protester Alexandra Wong Fung-yiu, nicknamed "Grandma Wong," appeared on the scene with white flowers and a yellow umbrella that had logos of the Union Flag on it. In October, she alleged that the Chinese authorities had detained her for 14 months in the mainland after she joined nearly every anti-extradition protest.  Mrs Lam, 58, only wants her surname to be shown for fear of being targeted by authorities, held a white flower in hands while facing the Prince Edward station across the street. She said she had stood there for one and a half hour to commemorate the "deaths" Mrs Lam said she joined the memorial at least five times. The recent surge of COVID-19 …

Society

Policy Address 20/21: Carrie Lam introduces a scheme to fight youth unemployment but students are hesitant amidst Hong Kong-Mainland political unrest. 

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: LAMA Sumnima Rani、AMALVY Esten Carr Claude Ole EriksenEdited by: Cherry Lee
  • 2020-11-25

In Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's fourth policy address today, she addressed Hong Kong's growing unemployment rate and introduced a new scheme that will open up to 2,000 places, of which some are innovation and technology positions, in the Great Bay Area for postgraduate students.  The Greater Bay Area consists of 9 cities in China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau to create a megalopolis. With aims to increase cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau and promote economic development.  The city's unemployment rate hit 6.4% this year, the highest it has been in 16 years according to government statistics. Especially among the youth, according to trending economics, as of September 2020, youth unemployment has skyrocketed to a staggering 12.10%.  In order to combat this worrying trend, the Hong Kong Government will introduce as part of the Greater Bay Area expansion process a new scheme officially called "The Greater Bay Area Youth Development Scheme". In hopes that Hong Kong graduates will apply and receive career opportunities in the Great Bay Area.  "Personally, I won’t work or get a job in the Mainland," said Tommy Mo, a student at Hong Kong Baptist University. He expresses his concerns about the National Security Law and the repercussions that he might face for being vocal with his political views on the CCP on social media platforms.  Mr Mo isn’t the only one to hold such opinions, 70% of Hong Kong’s youth said that they would prefer to keep their distance from mainland China and 60% were not a fan of the Greater Bay Area and that it would bring “more harm than good”, according to media reports on a survey conducted by Hong Kong Guangdong Youth Association in January.  Alice Lam Hoi-Yan, another student at HKBU expressed similar concerns but thought the …

Health & Environment

Policy Address 20/21: Lantau island reclamation: Hong Kong hiker fears "backyard garden" be gone forever

Johnny Wong remembers every detail of the day trip with his family 30 years ago to Tung Chung - the farmlands and ditches, the taste of the chips he got from the tuck shop and shared with his sisters and the Chinese restaurant where they ordered a corn and fish maw soup and steamed fish.  The 41-year old cultivated a passion for hiking when he was young and has been an eco guide since 2004 and a geopark guide since 2010. Four years ago, he published a book on mountains and trails. "Every time you hike, you feel like you're at home. You can unburden your emotions and feel relieved and absorb positivity," he said, adding that nature has comforted him when he was laid off or had troubles in his career.  But now Tung Chung is a sprawling complex of housing and airport infrastructure. A similar story might repeat for Mr Wong's 4-year old daughter, he said, who had a glance of the unbounded ocean and sky of Peng Chau when her parents took her on a trip there. But the view she will see in 15 years will be different if the government carries on with its ambitious development plan called Lantau Tomorrow Vision.  The plan will build housing on 1,000 hectares of reclaimed land, equivalent to one-third the size of Kowloon, around the tiny, undeveloped island of Peng Chau, just off the coast of Lantau Island. The proposal is estimated to cost HK$624 billion and will take at least 15 years. The first phrase can provide up to 260,000 flats in a bid to seek new land supply to combat long-lasting housing problems. The project also aims to build the "third Core Business District."   "There will be buildings," Mr Wong said, pointing at the water encircled by …