Home > Uncategorized > Some actual HK Data of HK people misbehaving, in need of outrage by HK people

Some actual HK Data of HK people misbehaving, in need of outrage by HK people

So, for a while now since the “peegate” stories spread on the internet via some angry HK’ers following mainland tourists around with cameras, I have wondered, why was this such a huge deal in HK?

Afterall, NYC subway smell like pee.  If you googled “NY peeing”, you get videos of public urination in NY.

So, then the question is, how clean are the HK people?  (I have been to some small alleys in HK, and they were not that clean).

So, I finally stumbled upon this good collection of data, tabulated by the Public Housing Estate of HK, which issued fines and warnings against HK public housing tenants, from 2003 to 2011.

http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr11-12/english/panels/hg/papers/hg0206cb1-948-4-e.pdf

Among the data, there were lots of minor stuff (category A and B offenses).

“Spitting” and “public urination” are in the more serious (C category), but there is also a D category.

 

Marking Scheme Summary (1.8.2003 – 31.12.2011)
Misdeeds Category Warning

– number of cases.

C1 Throwing objects from height that jeopardise environmental hygiene – 684

C2 Spitting in public areas – 1 412

C3 Urinating and defecating in public places – 11

C4 Dumping or disposing of decoration
debris indiscriminately at refuse
collection point, within building or in
other public areas
– 1
C5 Denying HD staff or staff representing
HD entry for repairs responsible by HD
64 34
C6 Refusing repair of leaking pipes or
sanitary fittings responsible by the
tenant
21 2
C7 Damaging down/sewage pipes causing
leakage to the flat below
11 1
C8 Using leased premises as food factory
or storage
– 4
C9 Illegal hawking of cooked food – 43
C10 Damaging or stealing Housing
Authority’s property
– 24
C11 Accumulating a large quantity of refuse
or waste inside leased premises,
creating offensive smell and hygienic
nuisance
202 146
C12 Using leased premises for illegal
purpose
– 76
D1 Throwing objects from height that may
cause danger or personal injury
– 65

 

Up to December 2011, we have recorded some 17 990 point-allotment cases involving 16 400 households, with about 5 400 cases (30%) remaining valid. The misdeeds of ‘Smoking or carrying a lighted cigarette in estate common area’ and ‘Littering’ continue to be the most frequently committed offences involving 6 200 and 5 700 cases respectively.

So, there you have the data.  Make it what you will.

1 note:  These are “tenants” who have access to bathrooms in their own apartments in HK, and 11 of them still decided to pee or poop on the streets in HK.

And this is just for 16,400 households in public housing.

So, if HK has a public urination (and public spitting) problem, it’s not just the tourists.  the DATA shows!

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  1. May 3rd, 2014 at 03:12 | #1

    I believe like the sunflower movement in Taiwan, the row is not really about public peeing per se (or economics in Taiwan’s case). The problem is on trying find an issue around which to foment and rally to create a we vs. them crisis.

    Hong Kong already has a peeing issue. All cities have that problem. Some cities have tried banning public urination, with New York being notorious, making it a misdemeanor (criminal record that stays with you if you are caught by a police officer peeing in public). San Francisco have tried that … with no avail … and is looking beyond to look for a solution.

    If the mainland tourist has a problem peeing in public, Hong Kong should simply enforce its laws and allow its officers do their job giving out citation tickets … giving education.

    I just can’t imagine how in the U.S. (any city), how a video of a homeless or black guy urinating in public turns into a public rebuke of whole group of people – even if (and I am only making things up) it turns out statistically a homeless and black male pees in public more than others.

    That’s just fanning social disharmony. That’s just racism looking for an issue to express itself.

    If there is a problem of public peeing … look underneath: is there enough public restrooms; do homeless have access to restrooms; etc. etc. Don’t automatically make it into a group problem.

    IN the Hong Kong case, it’s important to note also that the child caught urinating in public actually urinated onto a diaper. It was an emergency, and the toddler did not have diaper on, and the parents did the best they could.

    While we all understand the need to not urinate in public in urban areas, it is not an open and shut thing – especially when children are involved (see, e.g. this blog post and the comments it elicits from parents). When accidents do happen, it’s not the end of world. Move on. Live and let live. Urine- you know – is not the dirtiest thing around. Historically it’s even been used as antiseptic … to treat wounds.

    This reminds too much of the post by meleketaus (comments there are illuminating, as well as YinYang’s (and my) response). In the not too distant future, when the circumstances are ripe, we may have laws banning people picking their nose, leaving a bathroom without washing their hands, blowing off candles on birthday cakes, shaking hands without a proper alcohol wipe, etc. But I hope we won’t use it as a rallying point to ostracize groups of peoples.

  2. Black Pheonix
    May 3rd, 2014 at 07:53 | #2

    @Allen

    Yes, I agree that there is some other underlying reasons to use this kind of issue to foment a crisis.

    (1) fundamental jealousy.

    Mainland tourists tend to be the slightly well off Chinese with new disposable money to spend. They go to HK and Taiwan to shop for luxury high end goods.

    So, if a regular HK guy with less income sees a group of newly rich Chinese buying brand name watches and cloths that he couldn’t afford, he thinks, “Hey, I’m a GOOD person, why do these guys get all the good stuff, but I don’t?”

    Then he starts to pick on their flaws. “Look at that person, he’s spitting on the street.”

    Granted, there are poor people in HK who also does that, but that’s a POOR person in HK, who also can’t afford the good stuff.

    (2) the fear of “take over”.

    This is also very common in US and Europe today. Linked to the fear of that “different alien culture”, it’s the fear of being overwhelmed and overcrowded by the other, immoral people.

    Fear of being polluted somehow, made worse by the influence of the other, (even if they are just tourists, who are not coming to stay).

    *
    Both are just irrational expressions of self-inadequacies and lack of self-confidence.

    As Allen said, most Americans today don’t make a huge deal about such issues to rebuke an entire group, even though they have similar problems in American big cities.

    They just deal with it and move on. (via laws, education, etc.)

    *
    On the flip side, I’m also glad to see that mainland Chinese are rallying to the Chinese parents in this case.

    Why?

    In the past, most Chinese, when faced with such racism, would just take the abuse and run away from the racists.

    Not this time.

    That’s good, because that indicates that self-confidence of Chinese is rising. (We are not there yet, but it’s growing).

    We Chinese should be willing to openly confront such fundamental injustice, and call BS, and ridicule them.

    It’s not to prove that we are “tough” in any sense. It’s to simply say, “this is not right.”

  3. Sleeper
    May 3rd, 2014 at 18:13 | #3

    http://news.sina.cn/?sa=t124v71d11929392&pos=108&vt=4&clicktime=1399165298192&userid=user13991652981924442271641455591

    Mainland netizens are laughing about this news: “Why not doing anything you HK cowards? Dare you only put your wrath on innocent children?”

  4. N.M.Cheung
    May 4th, 2014 at 07:19 | #4

    The issue has more to do with politic than any public sanitation. Hong Kong supposedly has 50 years to transition to merge with China, it’s more than 1/3 over. Certainly there are resentment issues on economic spill over effects of rich mainlanders driving up the price inflation, but I suspect most of the protestors are well off upper middle class incomers with pseudo-democracy issues. With the approach of 6-4 anniversary I suspect there will be more of the protests for some de facto isolation from China, but I doubt they will get their wishes and probably resulted more of their exile to U.S. or Canada, but maybe nowadays New Zealand.

  5. pug_ster
    May 4th, 2014 at 16:34 | #5

    http://thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=30&art_id=145079&sid=42200235&con_type=1

    Funny thing is that these ‘anti-locusts’ protests against Mainlanders seems to have an effect. According to the article, “Arrivals for the Labor Day Golden Week holiday fell for the first time since 2003 when Beijing allowed individual travel. The total number of visitors during May 1-3 slipped 1.7 percent to 388,070, the latest data from the Immigration Department shows.”

  6. Hong Konger
    May 10th, 2014 at 10:20 | #6

    EVERYONE – Western media, Chinese state media, HK media – got the story wrong.
    They make it sound like one kid peed (actually, he pooed) and the whole city rioted.
    It’s only several paragraphs down in most articles that they very briefly point out that this is one small incident triggered by bigger problems.

    There are huge cross-border crime problems that neither the HK nor Chinese gvnt have solved. There’s basically an entire women’s prison on the HK side of the border for mainland prostitutes. There are giant smuggling operations, from small items (milk powder) to big ones (drugs, ivory,).

    Many of those showing up as “tourist statistics” are smugglers snatching up large amounts of goods. They bought up all the baby formula until the police put export limits. One year, so many mainland kids came to HK for flu shots that all the government clinics ran out — even though HKers pay for it out of our taxes. Our hospitals were so overwhelmed that the government had to crack down on mainland moms. There are mainland kids who bus over every day to take up school spots, and thousands of illegal workers (mostly poor women) who commute daily to work under the table.

    I don’t want to make this the world;s longest blog post — but problems range from pollution blowing down from poorly regulated factories on the border, to money laundering.

    The bad behavior is the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s the easiest thing to pick on — make a headline or a tweet. It is very annoying, but it’s not the main point.

  7. Hong Konger
    May 10th, 2014 at 10:37 | #7

    Imagine: So, you’re a local family. You’ve fight for your baby’s food at the supermarket against aggressive smugglers carrying supplies away in giant rolling suitcases. You’ve had rude Chinese guys try to burst into your pediatrician’s appointment even though your child is naked and being examined (happened to me). You’re worried that Chinese kids have taken up all the school slots in your neighborhood.

    Your neighborhood has changed — there’s higher crime at night. The 10,000s of factories over the border — exempt from HK regulations — constantly belch pollution into your home. You’re pretty sure all the girls in the local shop / salon are illegal, or even mistreated.

    You have all these tensions — and then government lets nearly 400,000 people over the border at once. A good number of them pee, poo, yell, smoke, cut in line and do other things usually unacceptable in major upscale downtown areas.

    This is how people get fixated on one kid peeing. I’m not saying it’s right — just trying to explain how we got to this sad point.

  8. N.M.Cheung
    May 10th, 2014 at 19:51 | #8

    @Hong Konger
    I was in Hong Kong from 1959 through 1961. my wife was in HK for 20 years until we got married at 1977. So we can call ourselves Hong Kongers also. A few years ago when Hong Kong gave out about $6-7K to every citizen we can claim them if we return to HK to claim it but decided against it. But remember one thing, Hong Kong is part of China, Hong Kong became British colony because of the Opium Wars. Most of her citizens have root in China. HK has a 50 years agreement to transition to China and her livelihood very much dependent of trade with China, not to mention of her water and foods. So spare me the haughty tone of some high class looking down at the peasants like some British gentleman.

  9. space apple
    May 10th, 2014 at 23:05 | #9

    When I was in HK in the 80’s, I knew a young British nanny who would not go to Kowloon because of factory pollutions, crime, drug, prostitution and the rude behavior of Kowloon people. Now the Brits are gone, but some HKers have put themselves up as new colonial masters looking down on the country bumpkins from the north. These people need to wake up and embrace their Chinese identity because Hong Kong is part of China just like Shanghai or Guangzhou or any other Chinese city.

  10. pug_ster
    May 11th, 2014 at 08:05 | #10

    Hong Konger :

    EVERYONE – Western media, Chinese state media, HK media – got the story wrong.
    They make it sound like one kid peed (actually, he pooed) and the whole city rioted.
    It’s only several paragraphs down in most articles that they very briefly point out that this is one small incident triggered by bigger problems.

    There are huge cross-border crime problems that neither the HK nor Chinese gvnt have solved. There’s basically an entire women’s prison on the HK side of the border for mainland prostitutes. There are giant smuggling operations, from small items (milk powder) to big ones (drugs, ivory,).

    Many of those showing up as “tourist statistics” are smugglers snatching up large amounts of goods. They bought up all the baby formula until the police put export limits. One year, so many mainland kids came to HK for flu shots that all the government clinics ran out — even though HKers pay for it out of our taxes. Our hospitals were so overwhelmed that the government had to crack down on mainland moms. There are mainland kids who bus over every day to take up school spots, and thousands of illegal workers (mostly poor women) who commute daily to work under the table.

    I don’t want to make this the world;s longest blog post — but problems range from pollution blowing down from poorly regulated factories on the border, to money laundering.

    The bad behavior is the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s the easiest thing to pick on — make a headline or a tweet. It is very annoying, but it’s not the main point.

    Gees, you seem to be a proud card carrying member of the anti-locust movement. For one thing prostitution is actually legal in Hong Kong (pimping is illegal) borrowed from British law so perhaps the problem is prostitution in Hong Kong in general, not the people who are doing the prostituting. Drugs and ivory can easily come to China thru many other routes and not just thru HK. Besides, some consumers of this stuff is probably be from HK itself. People in Hong Kong don’t want to do the intensive labor stuff leaving people from Mainland to do it under the table. No different why so many Mexicans doing work in American farms. If I were a shopkeeper in HK, I would probably import more baby powder and welcome mainlanders buying them because the problem is not the demand side, rather the problem is the supply side.

  11. Hong Konger
    May 11th, 2014 at 09:42 | #11

    @pug_ster I don;t think you get my point.
    My point is that there are huge problems — not just problems with kids peeing all over the place (though that does happen and is really annoying).

    The fact that so many mainland hookers are in our prisons must mean that they are doing something illegal.

    And I don’t care who buys the ivory or shark’s fin or drugs – Chinese criminals are using HK as a hub for all sorts of products that do great harm to the environment and to people’s health.

    As for the milk powder – it is a pretty big social problem when your average local parent cannot buy basic groceries. It’s not just a demand / supply business question. (The cynical pro-China people just say “hey, we’re paying you money…) HK is mature enough a society to know that $ is not the only thing. When your wife is carrying your hungry infant to 3 different supermarkets — you get annoyed.

    All these problems greatly decrease our daily quality of life. Many of these acts are illegal. If the government continues letting 300,000 mainlanders over the border on busy weekends, no amount of police are going to be able to catch everyone.

  12. Hong Konger
    May 11th, 2014 at 09:47 | #12

    @space apple These comments are baffling to me.
    It’s not an either-or situation.
    Just because pollution was bad in the 80s doesn’t mean it’s right for there to be bad pollution today. Though, if you look at the figures — it’s WAY, WAY worse today. There are something like 30,000 factories on that border now, and mostly unregulated. I can personally feel a big difference in air quality in even the last 5 years, never mind the last 25 years.

    Other China defenders say, “Hey, Hong Kongers spit and peed and pooed in public in the 50s” — but how does that make it right in 2014? And why would we want to go backwards by decades?

    And why is everyone making the chest-beating point about being part of China? We know we are. But, practically speaking, we have our own borders, passports, migration, currency, customs control, etc.

    You’re all taking this very personally. I’m saying this is a black and white governance / policing matter. Both sides’ governments have to tackle major migration and crime problems — or Hong Kong will be even more destroyed that it has been since 1997.

    And we all know the big prize here. If China can’t show that it can handle HK well, it will be harder and harder to convince Taiwan to come back willingly.

  13. Hong Konger
    May 11th, 2014 at 10:02 | #13

    @N.M.Cheung You sound like you are of the same HK generation (maybe slightly older) than my parents, who also migrated in the 70s. But my family all eventually came back.

    I agree and know that HK is part of China. We are culturally, linguistically, ethically Chinese – and proud of it.

    I’m not sure why you are comparing me to a haughty British gentleman. I am a Hong Kong Chinese lady. We are still allowed to have our opinions about current problems in our city.

    Some of the more ridiculous Chinese state press (like Global Times) have really become defensive. Any HKer who makes a pretty common sense comment (like, maybe we shouldn’t allow open defecation downtown), is suddenly some sort of snob. But really — it’s just basic common courtesy. People are just reporting what they are seeing and expressing their feelings.

    As a HKer yourself, you know that we are mostly just pragmatic. People are concerned about a large number of serious problems in the here and now – social, health, criminal, etc. If you came back to live now, you’d be shocked at the horrible problems with overcrowding, pollution and migration control.

    There are — of course, in every free society — some radicals. I wouldn’t personally resort to name-calling, or joining a protest holding a cartoon piece of poo. But people do what they do. (Those “poo” people numbered maybe 30) Beijing would be better off spending less time getting angry about these small things — and fixing the big things.

    If we improve cross-border relations, everyone will benefit. It will ease everything from marriages to businesses. It will reduce problems like the trafficking of women, corruption, money laundering, “scam” marriages, and the abuse of social services.

    If they don’t put down some controls, though, anger that has been building over years and years will at some point explode. I am scared of that happening.

  14. N.M.Cheung
    May 11th, 2014 at 11:20 | #14

    @Hong Konger
    We have visited Hong Kong 3 times in the last 4 years either directly or as a stopover on the way to China. I also read regularly the “South China Morning Post”, so I am well aware of the minor nuisances which you have exaggerated here. As a matter of fact the incident you mentioned the mother pleaded to people standing by that due to long lines at the public toilet the child can’t wait and she used a diaper or paper to clean up the pop you mentioned. I certainly have issues with so called outraged Hong Kongers using cellphone camera to photo the private part of a child. In U.S. that would be considered child pornography and punished accordingly. I suggest if you go to the parks during the weekend, you can’t fail to notice the tens if not hundreds of thousandsof Philippine and Indonesian maids squatting and sitting on every inch of space available. The mistreatment of some of those maids are well documented and is a serious problem. I am sure you are so used to it that’s beneath your notice.

  15. pug_ster
    May 11th, 2014 at 14:30 | #15

    @Hong Konger

    http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1500076/police-arrest-35-suspected-cross-border-prostitute-syndicate

    As I said, prostitution is legal, but pimping which is what is happening here is illegal. If you have a statistic of how many mainland hookers are in Hong Kong prisons, let me know, otherwise, you are over exaggerating this.

    Probably the time when people complain that the milk formula is gone is when there is a sale. Of course at that time the milk formula will probably be gone. What I do find ridiculous is that ever since a law enacted by Hong Kong to arrest people for bringing too much baby powder to the mainland like it is contraband.

    You make it sound like Triads are only based in the Mainlands who smuggle these illicit goods, guess what, there are plenty of Triads who operate in Hong Kong.

  16. pug_ster
    May 11th, 2014 at 17:33 | #16

    You know, I have to say this, but Hong Konger is a racist who have never been on the sharp end of a racism campaign. Since you have never lived outside your country, you don’t know what it is like to be the minority.

    When I first moved in my neighborhood in the 80’s, there were virtually no Chinese living here. People in the neighborhood treated the Chinese poorly, and I mean poorly. The person whom my parents brought the home from sold his house because their neighbor brought the place a year ago was Chinese. And, no, I don’t pee in the streets and just wanted to fit in. Years ago, I brought my own place in the same neighborhood and the tenants living there have comments like “why do you sell the place to them?” Sometimes, I wanted to move out of this neighborhood but my parents want to stick it out. This happened for years until Chinese started moved in more and more. Eventually there were so many Chinese in the neighborhood and that eventually Chinese integrated here without problems. The people who moved here are from the Fujian region and most of them are hard working people and I think the neighborhood is safer became of them.

    So what I am getting at from Hong Konger’s rant is the idiotic complaints and fear mongering towards Mainlanders is just that. Even though I dislike America because of the idiotic government, the people are more tolerant towards people who are not their own race, unlike what I am getting at from people in Hong Kong.

  17. May 12th, 2014 at 14:38 | #17

    @Hong Konger

    Recently I just had lunch with LC (founder of speak4china – and later foolsmounain), and we briefly talked about you. I even lamented how you have left us …

    Anyways, welcome back. Without much ado, I will briefly respond to your comments #6 and
    #7 (and #11) above.

    EVERYONE – Western media, Chinese state media, HK media – got the story wrong.
    They make it sound like one kid peed (actually, he pooed) and the whole city rioted. It’s only several paragraphs down in most articles that they very briefly point out that this is one small incident triggered by bigger problems.

    There are huge cross-border crime problems that neither the HK nor Chinese gvnt have solved.

    Everything I read on the net still says this is an incident of urinating. But poop as it may be, I do agree with you, as I commented in comment #1, that this is really not about pooping or peeing. If we have an Australian or American toddler having a pooping and peeing accident, it would not even make the news – much less stir up a storm. In the U.S., a cop has been fired for over-zealously ticketing a toddler for “public urination.” The toddler, being a Caucasian, had the support of sane people from the world over…

    There’s basically an entire women’s prison on the HK side of the border for mainland prostitutes.

    The fact that so many mainland hookers are in our prisons must mean that they are doing something illegal.

    I will not be so quick to judge. The “immorality” or “problems” of prostitution is complex. I would not lay the blame as the “prostitutes” themselves.

    In the U.S., black american males are disproportionately incarcerated. I wouldn’t blindly label this is an indication that black males are a problem. More likely, are victims of bigger social problems.

    Hong Kong has a vibrant sex industry. And if you think it’s a problem, it’s a problem. But it’s not a “mainland” problem per se. Prostitutes also flock to Hong Kong from Thailand and Philippines, as well as Russia and Eastern Europe. Basically, there is a huge industry there … and poor migrant workers are flocking to Hong Kong to work in that industry.

    Instead of seeing prostitutes as problems, I tend to see them as victims. There are pimps that are predators. There are “customers” who are predators. If there is a problem, they are the core part of the problem. I am afraid people might get lazy and blame problems on people you don’t like … instead of focus on solving the problems.

    There are giant smuggling operations, from small items (milk powder) to big ones (drugs, ivory,).

    Many of those showing up as “tourist statistics” are smugglers snatching up large amounts of goods. They bought up all the baby formula until the police put export limits. One year, so many mainland kids came to HK for flu shots that all the government clinics ran out — even though HKers pay for it out of our taxes. Our hospitals were so overwhelmed that the government had to crack down on mainland moms. There are mainland kids who bus over every day to take up school spots, and thousands of illegal workers (mostly poor women) who commute daily to work under the table.

    I don’t know what to say about these “smuggling operations.” If large numbers of mainlanders are coming over to buy milk to bring back to the mainland, taking what you wrote at face value, that is not a problem for Hong Kong per se. Hong Kong people should be glad to make a buck. These are called “smuggling” because the governments of Hong Kong and Mainland want to levy taxes of these goods. They do little harm. The “free economy” of Hong Kong can adjust to whatever demand there is for these milk products.

    As for people crossing over to get shots, or take school spots, I suspect this is more an exaggeration than anything else.

    In the U.S., we have xenophobes who blame Mexican immigrants on the same things … using up public resources and committing crime. What they fail to see is the contributions these groups of people make – contributing to the economy, paying taxes, etc. They have been trained to selectively see the costs of the people they don’t like, which is sad.

    As for your point that only true residents of Hong Kong (however you want to define it) deserve to get public services in Hong Kong since they paid for it, and no one else should, as they would be stealing it, I wonder if you understand how taxation in Hong Kong truly works.

    Hong Kong has some of the lowest taxes around because the bulk of HK tax revenues draw from the rich, corporations and land sales. The average Hong Konger does not pay their share of public services. He is instead a net beneficiary of what are business funded/subsidized public services.

    This article from the Globe and Mail gives a quick explanations of what I just described.

    Mr. Iliffe previously worked in Hong Kong from 1986 to 1991, and returned in 2011 after 12 years in Ottawa. He believes the SAR’s simple, flat, low-tax regime is the foundation of its renowned economic dynamism.

    “Hong Kong keeps it very simple. There’s no capital gains tax, there’s no dividend tax, there’s no tax on interest, and you are only taxed on income earned in Hong Kong – not overseas. The system here makes people more entrepreneurial. Maximum personal tax is 15 per cent, but there are lots of allowances to get it lower, and corporate tax is set at 16.5 per cent – so people are not spending half their time trying to avoid or evade. You have money in your pocket and you do things with it. You invest. You buy shares or you start second businesses,” he says.

    Ayesha Lau, partner in charge of Hong Kong tax at KPMG China, broadly agrees with Mr. Iliffe, but takes the view that low and simple taxation is one among a number of factors that make the city competitive. “Others are the rule of law, respect for private property, freedom from corruption in the business environment, efficient government, the free flow of capital – we have no exchange controls – protection of intellectual property rights, and the strategic location as a SAR which is part of China,” she says.

    “You need to be able to make a profit before you pay tax, so the entrepreneurial culture is not driven by tax alone.”

    Historically, however, it is certainly true that in Hong Kong both private individuals and companies have long felt secure in the assumption that they will be able to retain most of the money they earn, as a matter both of course and of right.

    Before 1940, Hong Kong imposed no tax on income. One was introduced as a wartime emergency fundraising measure, and later made to stick by the colonial government. It was originally set at 10 per cent.

    In 2010, former Hong Kong resident Michael Littlewood, now of The University of Auckland Business School in New Zealand, published a history of the Hong Kong tax system, aptly called Taxation without Representation.

    In the book, Dr. Littlewood argues that Hong Kong tax has remained at a low level largely because of a tug of war between government and the business community – which the latter has generally won.

    The city is full of paradoxes, and one of these, as Dr. Littlewood points out, is that Hong Kong’s tax system, fundamentally unchanged since 1940, “is both seriously out-of-date and ahead of its time.”

    He calls the system “perhaps the most successful the world has ever seen.”

    Its great merit, as he sees it, is not merely that the tax burden is light, but that it enjoys broad-based popular support – largely because it falls mostly on those most able to pay.

    Thanks to generous allowances for individuals on low incomes, the majority of Hong Kong’s population of about seven million pay little or no tax, and, in many cases, live in subsidized public housing.

    This is possible partly because the Hong Kong government is in the unusual position of being able to substantially supplement its tax revenues with sales from the land bank – it has the freehold on almost all land in the SAR – and through property sales stamp duty, which controversially doubled in February this year.

    Before one accuses how that mainlander is sucking away Hong Kong’s public services, I think one ought to reflect on how the mainlander has contributed to Hong Kong’s public services by lining the corporate profits of Hong Kong, increasing Hong Kong’s property values, etc.

    Back to Hong Konger:

    I don’t want to make this the world;s longest blog post — but problems range from pollution blowing down from poorly regulated factories on the border, to money laundering.

    The bad behavior is the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s the easiest thing to pick on — make a headline or a tweet. It is very annoying, but it’s not the main point.

    You know pollution used to be a huge problem in old Hong Kong. More recently, with China’s opening up, factories have been relocated to the mainland side.

    If Hong Kong were to be separated from the mainland, if it were not allowed to move its factories outwards, then Hong Kong would have its own problem to deal with. This is not to say pollution from mainland is not a problem. Of course it is. But people in Hong Kong should keep in mind this greater context / perspective.

    Even if Hong Kong moves to a purely services economy, that doesn’t mean pollution now becomes a “foreign” problem. So long as they trade for products made from industrial processes elsewhere, they have merely outsourced the pollution problem by selectively occupying certain parts of the global value chain. Yes, outsourced their pollution.

    Pollution is a global problem. It is a industrialization problem. Everyone should work together to solve/mitigate pollution. Politicizing it to say it’s a Mainland thing – or a poor society thing – that’s sweeping one’s problem under the rug simply because on account one can outsource the problem. We are all a part of the problem and need to contribute to being part of the solutions.

    In Hong Kong’s case, is Hong Kong contributing technologies and know-how make alternative sources of energy cheaper, more affordable, more prevalent? Is Hong Kong contributing technologies and resources to make industrial processes cleaner?

    “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

    As for money laundering, Hong Kong is the money laundering capital of the world. It has been that for as long as I know. I don’t know how this is a mainland problem.

    Imagine: So, you’re a local family. You’ve fight for your baby’s food at the supermarket against aggressive smugglers carrying supplies away in giant rolling suitcases. You’ve had rude Chinese guys try to burst into your pediatrician’s appointment even though your child is naked and being examined (happened to me). You’re worried that Chinese kids have taken up all the school slots in your neighborhood.

    Your neighborhood has changed — there’s higher crime at night. The 10,000s of factories over the border — exempt from HK regulations — constantly belch pollution into your home. You’re pretty sure all the girls in the local shop / salon are illegal, or even mistreated.

    You have all these tensions — and then government lets nearly 400,000 people over the border at once. A good number of them pee, poo, yell, smoke, cut in line and do other things usually unacceptable in major upscale downtown areas.

    This is how people get fixated on one kid peeing. I’m not saying it’s right — just trying to explain how we got to this sad point.

    I see how we got to this point. But in light of the points I (and others) have made above, I hope readers will see how hollow these complaints ring.

    I am all for address issues caused by mainland’s industrialization – but by keeping our eyes on the big picture and focusing on solving problems – not in a racist narrow-minded (hateful?) way and focusing on identifying problem through the lens of them vs us.

  18. pug_ster
    May 12th, 2014 at 16:09 | #18

    @Allen

    I think you have a point there. I think that the media in Hong Kong took Free Speech a little too far. First the ad about how mainlanders are described the derogatory term locusts and the media how they freely describe it in its media. Even with the corporate controlled Media in America, you would never see an AD about mainlanders described as this.

    In America many Chinese who recently came to the states are low income, and good number of them cheat in taxes, gets paid under the table, cheat on medicaid, hock and spit, engage in gangster activity, pee in the street and engage in prostitution (which is illegal BTW.) Probably worse than what you aptly described as ‘locust’ behavior in Hong Kong. Yet the American Media won’t describe these recently arrived Chinese in any negative light and very tolerant towards them.

    Going back to Hong Kong, I think there is to much “free speech” and much of it already crossed the line of hate speech. This is one thing that why I think Hong Kong has some ways to go before considered it civilized.

  19. May 12th, 2014 at 16:46 | #19

    @pug_ster

    Freedom of speech?

    We now see parcels of “crap” being sent to government officials (see e.g. http://www.scmp.com/print/news/hong-kong/article/1507054/parcels-faeces-sent-commerce-secretary-greg-so).

    People are also throwing feces in public as way of demonstrating (see e.g. http://english.sina.com/china/p/2014/0429/695915.html).

    So showing pee and poop in public is ok as a legitimate speech … but a toddler having to relieve himself , and whose parents clean after toddler’s accidents is condemned.

    Hong Kong – you may be wealthy, but in terms of being a civilized and humane society, you’ve got ways to go…

  20. May 12th, 2014 at 16:53 | #20

    @pug_ster

    Interesting article about HK triad from time magazine: http://time.com/10445/hong-kong-triads-have-lower-profile/

    Title: What Has Happened to Hong Kong’s Triads?

    A “classic triad hit” on a former newspaper editor reminds people that the fearsome organized crime gangs are still around, but in different forms

    A man jumps off a motorbike, slashes his victim in the back and the legs with a meat cleaver before driving off, leaving the victim in the street. The gruesome attack on former newspaper editor Kevin Lau has not only left Hong Kong in shock, it also directs a fresh spotlight on the city’s underworld.

    Triads, as the local organized crime gangs are known, have become invisible to the point of almost being forgotten. Murder rates have dwindled, even though infrequent inter-triad assaults still occur. Recent raids in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong province have resulted in over 1,800 arrests. Still, the loose networks of Sun Yee On, 14K, Wo Shing Wo and other less significant gangs are believed to have tens of thousands of members to this day, quietly running prostitution, gambling and drug rackets as well as more conventional businesses.

    “The power of the triads is less obvious now than before the handover [of Hong Kong to China],” says Sharon Kwok, a sociologist focusing on triad research at City University of Hong Kong. “People don’t walk up to you and say that they’re a member of 14K and ask you for money. Many triads have gone into more legitimate businesses. The expected exodus of triads never happened, their networks just changed shape.”

    Independent decision-making is thought to be behind the triads’ international networks. In January, it was reported that Sun Yee On and 14K had forged ties to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. In return for supplying the Mexicans with small arms and raw materials for methamphetamine production, the triads receive cocaine for the Chinese market and access to Sinaloa’s network to smuggle Asian nationals into the United States. But Kwok says that these connections often have to do with individual triad members going abroad and establishing connections, more than a top-down plan by triad leaders, or so-called “dragon heads.”

    “Triad societies are not as organized as perceived,” she says. “Many of those who left [Hong Kong] because they were afraid of the Communist Party have created new connections in their host country.” In other words, triads have become that other typically Hong Kong phenomenon: an export.

    It appears Hong Kong’s gang problem, while minimized since the handover, continues to be a problem – a global problem.

  21. pug_ster
    May 13th, 2014 at 04:41 | #21

    @Allen

    This is a troubling trend. Marginalizing the mainlanders seems to be an acceptable behavior in Hong Kong. Someone in Hong Kong who thinks this kind of behavior is wrong and then got this ‘package.’ Arresting people who try to ‘smuggle’ baby powder and parents whose children pee in the streets? Hong Kong is not a tolerant society towards people who are different than them. Many other HK politicians don’t have the backbone to do something about this.

  22. ersim
    May 13th, 2014 at 07:50 | #22

    It seems that in Hong Kong, like in Taiwan, alot of people suffer from “delusions of grandeur” in belittling mainland China. Pathetic colonial mindset of self hatred.

  23. United Chinese Diaspora
    May 14th, 2014 at 05:17 | #23

    I believe that Chinese people worldwide should learn from the “Five Eyes”, namely the united efforts of five Anglo nations of working together for the common good. Chinese people should work together for the betterment of Chinese societies, instead of complaining about governments or each other, Chinese people should work on the grass root level where poverty and ignorance are the main threats to Chinese societies.
    Over 150 years of British colonialism have zapped the Chinese soul from the Hong Kong people, the facade of democracy and rule of law mask the lack of compassion and humanity; very much similar to the way Hong Kong Chinese people have been treated by their then colonial masters. Something akin to the Stockholm syndrome, many Hong Kong people have lost their self-dignity and unconsciously trying to imitate colonial authoritarianism and intolerance without knowing why. Despite Western propaganda portraying Chinese people as aggressive and violent, if you look at the Chinatowns worldwide, historically Chinese people have never been aggressive nor violent; on the contrary Chinese people are ardent conflict averts; mostly advocate for peace and dialogue for resolving disputes. This is the Chinese soul.

    Hong Kong will be the next target for the “Springs”, and I won’t be blaming the Chinese people.

    There is so much good in the Chinese but it will take a coordinated effort to avoid erosion. Chinese people must work together for the common good. Start by supporting each other; Dai Jah Hau; the microcosm of family can have a butterfly effect of good for all Chinese.

  24. pug_ster
    May 15th, 2014 at 05:02 | #24

    @United Chinese Diaspora

    I agree, this is kind of the “Neo-Nazism” in Hong Kong towards Mainlanders. A group of people blaming Hong Kong’s society problems on the Mainlanders and as a result this kind of irrational behavior is often tolerated. This is similar to how Hitler came into power by blaming the Jews for taking their jobs, wealth, etc… as well as the Neo Nazi’s in the Ukraine who blame country’s problems on the ethnic Russians.

    I am seeing in facebook a movement who are against mainland mothers giving birth in HK. Who knows, maybe some crazy political movement or party in HK who wants more restrictive laws against mainlanders is already happening.

    As you mentioned, the whole facade about the “lack of democracy” is really minor in Hong Kong because there are bigger social issues there. What really bothers me is that there is a small group of people controlling much of the wealth in Hong Kong. I mean, there’s not much of competition in terms of supermarkets, real estate, utilities, shipping, Media, transportation and etc… Because of this many people in Hong Kong have to work harder in order to go up in the social ladder. Hong Kong people blame mainlanders giving birth in HK while people in HK don’t want to have children because of economic issues. Much of these problems swept under the rug by the corporate controlled media because they don’t want you to know that it is a problem, instead blaming the problems on the China boogeyman. The sad thing is that many people in Hong Kong is brought into that idea and many HK politicians who are brought into that idea just don’t have the backbone to do anything about this.

  25. United Chinese Diaspora
    May 16th, 2014 at 07:31 | #25

    @pug_ster

    “As you mentioned, the whole facade about the “lack of democracy” is really minor in Hong Kong because there are bigger social issues there. What really bothers me is that there is a small group of people controlling much of the wealth in Hong Kong. I mean, there’s not much of competition in terms of supermarkets, real estate, utilities, shipping, Media, transportation and etc… Because of this many people in Hong Kong have to work harder in order to go up in the social ladder.”

    If you would look at Google, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Walmart, and here in Canada, the Thompsons and Westons, how different are we from the people of Hong Kong or any 99% around the world for that matter. Walmart wants to establish stores in Chinatown, that will certainly wipe out all the independent family stores that are the backbones of all the Chinatowns in North America. There are no such thing as competition or privacy anymore. We are ants. And worker ants at that. How many Chinese get invited to the Bilderberg or Trilateral commission meetings. The Chinese are not in control, even the Li Kar Shings in Hong Kong have to work harder in order to climb the global social ladder.

    “Hong Kong people blame mainlanders giving birth in HK while people in HK don’t want to have children because of economic issues. Much of these problems swept under the rug by the corporate controlled media because they don’t want you to know that it is a problem, instead blaming the problems on the China boogeyman. The sad thing is that many people in Hong Kong is brought into that idea and many HK politicians who are brought into that idea just don’t have the backbone to do anything about this.”

    Politicians worldwide are self serving. I like what Harper is doing in Canada. Jim Flaherty, the former Canadian finance minister who just passed away was the closest to a good politician who cared about the country. I like what Xi is doing in China. Gaddhafi of Libya, Castro of Cuba, Chavez of Venezuela, Mandela of South Africa, Rousseff of Brazil, Putin of Russia and even Saddam Hussein are/were people with backbones. Some of the leaders of the developed countries are real jokes. Hong Kong politicians are caught between a rock and a hard place. Recently I saw this video of a white guy in Hong Kong on a bike and he refused to give the Hong Kong police any identification. The Hong Kong police were speaking in good English and politely asked for his ID and the white guy who did not speak Chinese was yelling and resisting and he was moving away with his bike and when the police tried to hold on to him, the white guy was yelling, “don’t touch me, don’t touch me”, and the Hong Kong police was afraid to touch him. And then I thought of a recent incident in Vancouver where two white Vancouver police officers went to a house and encountered a Chinese man who didn’t speak much English, the two police officer proceeded to beat up the man and then later found out that they went to the wrong house and beat up the wrong person. Hong Kong politicians are hobbled by Western interference, they are afraid of the West’s yelling. The Chinese voice is always weaker.

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