- An efficient civil service must step in to do work of non-functioning government and city has to join together to dig itself out of hole
The consensus political story these days is that Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor wanted to quit but Beijing wouldn't let her. The central government blames her for the mess and insists she cleans it up. Also, there is no one else who wants the job. If that's indicative of Beijing's thinking, it's understandable, but is it tenable?
The obvious question is, are Lam and her closest allies and advisers capable of turning the whole thing round? That's analogous to fixing a major engineering fault on a jetliner while in mid-air. If they could do that, they would have had the political nous in the first place to avoid the current debacle, probably the worst since Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997.
Beijing is hoping against hope. Key local government departments and bureaus are now going on autopilot. At the moment, it's not clear whether we have a functioning secretary for justice. Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah is no more than a moving target for government critics and the opposition.
Lam approval rating edges up but she is least popular leader since 1997
The police are at breaking point. Junior police unions have already told their bosses that they cannot operate under current conditions much longer without a breakdown of morale and discipline.
We desperately need a police commissioner and secretary for security who can restore both police morale and public trust. No one thinks Stephen Lo Wai-chung and John Lee Ka-chiu are remotely capable of achieving one, let alone both herculean tasks.
Hong Kong is being torn apart by two opposing forces: the inertia of a non-functioning government and the aggressive anarchy of the opposition and young rioters. If the opposition has any vision or leadership, they need to stop encouraging young people from throwing themselves at the barricades.
In exchange, there will be a one-off amnesty for protesters arrested since early June.
While we may not have a functioning government, we still have a highly trained and efficient civil service. There needs to be a caretaker government with the current No 2s or No 3s taking over those aforementioned departments and bureaus " until such time as proper leaders can be found. Major policy initiatives will have to be put on the back burner for now.
Meanwhile, we need to stop the blame game and name-calling for a process of reconciliation to take place. We are way beyond being yellow or blue now. Let's try to dig ourselves out of this hole.
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