INFO · Search
· Chinese version · Subscribe

The Young Reporter

Politics

Highlights on Carrie Lam's First Policy Address

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Sharon PunEdited by: Cecilia Wong、Isabella Lo、Daisy Lee、James Ho
  • 2017-10-11

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor kicked off her first Policy Address of 2017-2018 by emphasising "one country two systems" this morning in the Legislative Council.   She quoted President Xi Jin-ping's remarks during his visit to the city in July, that the framework of "one country two systems" is the best path for Hong Kong.   Pinpointing on her maiden policy, she introduced the two-tier taxation system in which the profit tax rate is lowered from 16.5% to 8.25% for the first $2 million. Rate beyond $2 million remains unchanged. The government will set limits to big corporations, so that only one of the subsidiaries can be benefited.   For housing, Lam put emphasis on the "Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Pilot Scheme" which is expected to offer more than 4000 public housing flats by the end of 2018.   Lam detailed the "Starter Homes" plan in cooperation with private developers to help young families with the income capped by about 30% higher than the home ownership ownership limits get onto the housing ladder.     To alleviate the existing pressure on housing, Lam suggested several measures to increase transitional housing supply, such as utilising idle governmental premises to provide rental housings, and converting industrial building into transitional housing with land premium wavering.   Lam suggests providing a maximum of $300 monthly travelling allowance to each Octopus user who spends over $400 on commuting by MTR, franchised buses, green minibuses and ferries. The policy using the dividends from MTR Corporation is expected to benefit 2 million citizens territory-wide.   In order to encourage the youth's voices in policy discussion, she said the government will increase the ratio of teenagers within her government to 15%.  In addition, the government will recruit more than 20 young people to take part in …

Ethnic minority groups urge government to address unequal opportunities

  • 2017-10-08

About 50 individuals from various ethnic minority rights group gathered outside the Hong Kong Government headquarters in Admiralty to call for equal opportunities for ethnic minorities. Organizations and individuals include Hong Kong Unison, Diversity of Voices, ethnic minority parents, local university students and graduates and Chinese-home tutors. They ask Chief Executive Carrie Lam to implement policies related to ethnic minorities which she made in her election manifesto. Carrie stated in early 2017 that she would ensure the successful implementation of Chinese education among ethnic minority students if she was elected as the next chief executive. Jeffrey Andrews, the first ethnic minority registered social workers in Hong Kong of Indian descent and organizer of the march, sees Chinese education as the key to eliminate discrimination against ethnic minorities. "The lack of proper Chinese education [for ethnic minority students] is still not tackled. At schools, we did not get to learn Chinese properly. Therefore, for many generations, ethnic minority people cannot get into universities, cannot integrate into the society or cannot get a proper job," said Andrews. He also lamented the negative perception of ethnic minorities. "Various media sites are blaming us for making Hong Kong chaotic. There is this government slogan: Hong Kong is my home. But I don't think we [ethnic minority community] are included in this message," he added. He added that the unequal opportunities in education have existed since kindergarten. "There are even some kindergartens that deny [ethnic minorities'] entry. Those schools say, ‘Our place is not for your children since everything is taught in Cantonese.' This problem can persist from kindergarten until university. We never really seem to integrate into the society. It is ridiculous that we have to pay to learn Cantonese outside instead of at schools," said Andrews. Salma Deiya, a representative for ethnic minority university …

Hong Kong sees growing popularity in Himalayan art

  • 2017-10-06

According Sotheby, one of the world's largest auction house, there were 3 auctions with more than 60 pieces of Himalayan art held in 2016, making a total sale of $4.8 million (about HK$38 million), compared to only only 1 similar auction in 2012, with total sale of only $1.8 million (about HK$14.5million). Much of Himalayan art are paintings and sculptures composed of unique symbols and patterns from Buddhism, Hinduism and various tribal cultures. "There's  growing interest  in Himalayan art in  Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China. But the largest growth is here in Hong Kong," said Fabio Rossi, the owner of Rossi & Rossi gallery. Founded in London, Rossi and Rossi has handled a lot of antiques and art from the Himalayan region, specifically from Tibet, Nepal, and Kashmir over  the past decades. Rossi brought over 30 pieces of Himalayan classical art and early textiles to Fine Art Asia this year. Those  include a bronze statue of Avalokitèshvara, a bodhisattva from Nepal in 13th-14th century, valued at about $3 million U.S. dollars (about HK$23.4 million). Fine Art Asia, a leading international annual art fair in Asia, features Himalayan art from more than seven top international galleries this year. Gan Ting, 30,  graduated from art school and is now works for an art investment company. Gan loves Tibetan culture and art work, especially thangka, a form of Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton, silk appliqué, or human skin. "I like to look into different parts and details of thangka so I can get different meanings from them," said Gan. The price of thangka increased significantly these years, from a few thousands to a hundred thousands US dollars, Gan told us. "For example, I saw a  big piece of thangka selling for around $1.8 million U.S. dollars(about HK$14 million) and even a small …

Politics

Activists call for support of jailed mainland dissidents

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Raphael Blet、Tracy Zhang、Jade LiEdited by: Lam Ka Sing、Tracy Zhang
  • 2017-10-05

An activist group organised a temporary exhibition in Hong Kong's Tsim Sha Tsui Wednesday evening, calling for support of jailed activists in mainland China.     The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China hopes the Democracy Lantern Action can make the public pay more attention to the "patriots" in custody and the human rights issue in the mainland, said Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong, vice president of the organisation, referring to dissidents such as the 709 lawyers, a group of lawyers under government surveillance.   The number 709 refers to the fact that the lawyers were arrested on July 9 in 2015.   "The annual event we hold next to the Tsim Sha Tsui harbour every year at Mid-Autumn Festival is to advocate for those in custody who cannot get united with their family members," he said.   "We also hope to increase awareness on the suppression on the defendants of human rights in mainland on the night of a traditional Chinese festival when people unite with their family members," he added.   Chow Hang-tung, barrister and vice president of the Hong Kong Alliance, also regarded the Mid-Autumn Festival as a symbolic time to call for the activists' reunion with their families as it is when Chinese families traditionally gather to celebrate.   "The most vocal lawyers have been either placed in jail or put on probation since the 709 crackdown, severely reducing the number of human rights lawyers who can still work effectively" said Chow, who believes that the situation for mainland human rights lawyers has worsened since the jailings in 2015. The alliance has delivered moon cakes to the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government on Chinese National day on Monday, asking for the release of jailed mainland dissidents to reunite with their families. …

Business

Hong Kong bike-sharing initiatives' secretive rise

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Japson Melanie Jane、Angie Chan、Scout XuEdited by: Daniel Ma、Sean Hsu、Choy York Borg Paulus
  • 2017-10-04

The Lands Department confiscated around 30 bikes in Tin Shui Wai and Yuen Long, most of which are from GoBee, the first bike-sharing service in Hong Kong. Unlike existing bike-rentals, bike-sharing services allows users to rent green bikes by scanning QR codes with their mobile phones, posing no restrictions on where to pick-up or drop off the bicycles. Sha Tin District Councillor Sunny Chiu Chu-bong finds the bike-sharing service is a good concept and can be very convenient, though problems have arisen since before its implementation. However Chiu said there are no regulations towards these services, but taxpayers are paying for these bikes. "They are using government land to make profit, without approval from the public." The district councillors were not informed of the bike-sharing service until they started receiving complaints; Some complained of alarms going off and are unable to be turn them off; Bikes were inappropriately parked, blocking the road. These are only some of the common problems found since the launch of the service. "Hong Kong is not ready for bike-sharing services," he added. " The city lacks government regulation and infrastructure. More similar companies are going to surface and that will worsen illegal parking." Sha Tin resident Chan said this service is quite convenient, but it's not very well-known and the payment method is quite complicated. Though she is concerned of the parking problem, she would choose to pick up these green bikes for a free 30-minute session. Another resident Michelle Cheung feels uneasy about the registration and payment method of the services. She fears about privacy problems which could hinder with the usage of the service. "The government should make them register and plan out the areas for them to park the bikes." She answered when asked about possible government action, regarding the disruption caused …

Lack of seat belts on minibus poses threats to passengers' safety

  • 2017-10-04
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Elly Wu、Michelle Ng、Sharon Pun、Candice WongEdited by: Fred LAI、Celia Lai
  • 2017-10-04

More than 40 per cent of light buses in the city do not  have seat belts, despite mandatory requirements to install them. A crash involving a minibus in Shek O three days ago again raised concern on the potential threat to safety. Twenty six passengers were injured. A new law enacted in 2004 states that all minibuses must be fitted with  seat belts. The Young Reporter talked to more than 60 minibus passengers and found that only 29% of them would wear seat belts when taking a ride. Tam Chun Tak, Secretary of HK, Kln & NT Public & Maxicab Light Bus Merchants' United Association, says the high cost of fitting seat belts is a problem. He believes that without government subsidy,  it will take at least 15 years for seat belts to be installed on all light buses, and they have no plans to install seat belts in existing minibuses. "The only way to ensure all minibuses have seat belts is to replace some of the existing vehicles, " Tam said. That's because the frame of some of the  current buses cannot be fitted with seat belts. But former Secretary for Transport and Housing, Cheng Yu-wah, now a legislator, says the government has provided help to the industry. She explained that there have been three incentive schemes since 2004 to encourage minibus owners to replace their own vehicles in order to comply with environmental and safety standards. Out of the 64 minibus passengers The Young Reporter reached, 87% pay attention to whether seat belts are installed on minibuses, but only 29% wears them sometimes. No one said they would refuse to take a minibus without seat belts. Wong Hei-man, 20, who was once fined for not wearing a seat belt on a minibus, says she is not concerned whether …

Business

Cultural tours fail to pull mainland tourists during Golden Week

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Holly Chik、Caroline Kwok、Ezra CheungEdited by: Angela Cheung、Emily Cheung
  • 2017-10-04

Not a lot of mainland tourists come to Hong Kong for cultural exploration or eco-tours, spokesperson of Mainland Travellers Centre of China Travel Service said. The company offers different one-day tours including popular tourists spots such as Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland, but they also offer cultural and eco-tours. For example, China Travel Service provides cultural tours to Kowloon Walled City Park and site visits to the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark. Both types of packages targeted at mainland travellers but cultural and eco-tours are usually less popular amongst customers regardless in peak seasons or in regular days. Over these few days of the National Day Golden Week, over 150 individuals from the mainland came to Hong Kong daily for one-day tours of traditionally popular tourist attractions. Yet, only less than 60 joined either cultural or eco-tours every day. China Travel Service spokesperson said the company did not marketise any of their tours as flagships and customers could make their own choice. "Usually they are here (in Hong Kong) for shopping and popular tourists spots," spokesperson said. Ho Ho Go Experience is a tour agency which covers tradition and off-the-beaten-path attractions. The founder, Ling Ho, also said no mainland tourist has joined their cultural tours after they were launched in 2015. • 20 Most Popular Countries as Mainlanders' Tourist Destinations (Data from China Tourism Academy) Former Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying aimed to diversify the visitor source market and develop cultural and creative tourism, as he announced in the 2016 Policy Address. The government defined "creative tourism" as tourism and minglement of experimental activities with local characteristics, citing South Korea, Brazil and New Zealand as examples. Brazil offers tourists samba dance learning experiences instead of just watching a dancing show, whereas New Zealand organises indigenous related hands-on workshops operated by …

Bus Drivers Forced To Work Overtime

  • 2017-10-04
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Wing Li、Alexandra Lin、Dorothy Ma、Kobie LiEdited by: Richelia Yeung、Tiffany Lui、Choco Tang
  • 2017-10-04

The Federation of Bus Industry Trade Union is calling for shorter working hours and higher salaries for Hong Kong bus drivers, after a fatal bus accident killed three people in Sham Shui Po last week. Lau Kai-him, officer of the Union, said that bus companies have an unhealthy pay structure that forces bus drivers to work overtime. Hong Kong has five franchised bus companies, including Citybus, which was involved in the recent accident, and numerous minibuses and other non-franchised buses. Chu, a Citybus driver who didn't want to reveal his full name, said he works 10 to 12 hours a day, depending on the route he is assigned. He calls this a disguised form of compulsory overtime. "You need to do it when the company assigned it to you," Chu said. Lau also said the drivers don't make enough money without working overtime, another reason for longer working hours. The basic salary for a bus driver starts from around $12,000 for new drivers up to around $15,000 for drivers with good records, including no customer complaints, Chu said. Nowadays more and more passengers like to complain, Chu said. But bus companies advertise a salary of $19,000 to attract new drivers; however, this includes overtime, Lau said. Bus companies need to hire more drivers to reduce the need for overtime, he added. Lau is saying bus companies are having a hard time attracting new blood. "If we only decrease the working hours without raising the salary, the problem cannot be solved," Lau said. "Our bus company has never forced the drivers to work overtime. If the drivers think their working hours are too long, they can ask for a switch," said Wong Ka-lok, Director of Citybus Branch.  

iPhone 8 battery is safe, local Apple Store claims

  • 2017-10-04
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Maggie Liu、Susan Gao、Melissa KO、Lloyd Hewitt-Robinson、Kenji ChanEdited by: Susan Gao、Melissa KO
  • 2017-10-04

The new iPhone 8 released on September 22, has reportedly had some battery problems. The Apple Daily newspaper reported that a Hong Kong buyer surnamed Lam reported that his gold-coloured iPhone 8 was already bloated when he opened the box even before getting a chance to use the phone. Lam took the faulty device back to the Apple Store where he bought it from, and the store gave him a replacement as it was determined that the device could not be fixed, said Apple Daily. This afternoon, The Young Reporter visited the Shatin store. "iPhone 6s also has had this kind of problem before. We would normally just recall the phone," said its spokesperson, "No need to worry about (iPhone's) safety." Three such known incidents have all taken place in Asia, Japan on September 24, Taiwan on the 26th and Hong Kong on the 28th respectively. Karl Leung Ping-hung, the head of the department of information and communication technology at Vocational Training Council said, "batteries used by current mobile phones and pads usually swell when reaching their lifespans." However, it is still unclear what caused the new iPhone 8 battery to swell up this time. Apple Store said it would investigate the incidents. Kylie Chen, a big fan of Apple product, who plans to buy a new iPhone said the phone bloating incident would not affect his decision. Two more iPhone 8 Plus users have reported problems with their devices. A Taiwanese woman surnamed Wu was the first to report the problem after her gold iPhone 8 Plus burst open whilst charging using an official charging cable, said Taiwan Apple Daily. Wu had the iPhone for three days and began charging when the device has 70% battery and after three minutes it burst open after becoming swollen, Apple Daily said. …

Ink roots deeper than the dermis

  • 2017-10-03

Ink roots deeper than the dermis Hong Kong tattoo convention as a window to the tattoo culture "Tattoos are not only for 'privileged' gang members," said Gabe Shum, founder of the first-ever international tattoo convention in Hong Kong. People from all walks of life get tattoos, he added. Running its fifth year, the Hong Kong China International Tattoo Convention features more than 300 artists from all around the world. Through this event, Shum hopes that more people could get to know the tattoo culture. From September 29 to October 1 in Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, aisles of booths will provide walk-in tattoo services, but for those who are not yet ready for the lifelong commitment, some also display paintings and stickers designed by artists. The three-day event includes tattoo showcases and competitions, a mini-air gun firing range, DJ turntablism sessions and more. The aim of the convention, however, is not profit-ma, king Shum said. He simply wants the event to run smoothly and for Hong Kong artists to leave a lasting impression. He recalled foreign tattoo artists' doubt on Hong Kong and China artists when he went to tattoo conventions in other countries. Enraged by their disdain, he decided to organise the city's own international tattoo convention. Shum hopes that local tattoo artists will develop their own style and stand out in the international radar. One of the highlights for this year is Tebori, the Japanese traditional practice of tattooing by hand. It is being showcased by Japanese tattoo artist, Sousyu Hayashi throughout the whole convention. Hayashi will have completed a 20-hour scalp tattoo by the end of the event, using his hands, needles and hand-grinded Japanese calligraphy ink. This is considered a rare practice performed by only about 20 artists in Japan, said Hayashi, who has been engraving skin …