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Hong Kong: Everyday Misery Unaddressed in Small Circle Mayoral Election

A small circle election will be held on 25 March, 2012, to decide on the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Only 1,200 election committee members can participate in the so-called election of the city mayor and a majority of the votes are controlled by the pro-China political and social groups.

Under such an undemocratic system, the vision and policy plan of the candidates are not the keys to their success. The full blessing of the Beijing government, on the other hand, is most crucial to the match.

So far, among the three candidates, only Henry Tang and Leung Chun Ying have been endorsed by the Beijing government, Albert Ho, nominated by the pan-democratic alliance is just a token candidate in the election.

Instead of engaging in policy debate, the two blessed candidates and their supporters are busy attacking each others with scandals; the mainstream media in the past few weeks have been flooded with all kinds of scandals, from Henry Tang's secret mistress, illegitimate son and illegal dungeon to CY Leung's avested interest in the West Kowloon project and his supporters’ campaign dinner with a triad member.

Fed up with the situation, YouTube user shuiliuyun (with the assistance of Derrick Tao) produced a short video to present some issues facing average Hong Kong residents and urge the governing elites to address the real problems:

Most people think of Hong Kong as an international financial center or a shopping paradise. Little do they know of the daily life of local people. The video presents the miserable life of those who have to compete for their survival even before they are born.

Below is the translation of the video script and the slide content (in parentheses).

Have you ever thought about being a Hongkong-er?
(Hong Kong people have to spend their whole live competing.)

How should you equip yourself for winning the competitions?
(Unborn baby has to compete for maternity bed.)

You are not yet being born, your parents have to compete for a maternity bed.
(Among 95,337 newborn babies, half of them are offsprings of mainland pregnant women.)

Then they have to compete for infant formula milk, newborn healthcare service, kindergarten.
(Newborn Hong Kong babies have to compete for infant formula milk, newborn health care service, kindergarten – the city's 14 newborn day care centers can only serve 482 babies. Only 80% of  kindergartens accept government childcare coupons.)

It is not easy to get into renowned schools which receive direct subsidies from the government.
(Hong Kong students have to compete for entering renowned schools with direct subsidies from the government and to compete for entering university. There are 51,123 students in direct subsidy secondary schools [11% of the total number of secondary students in Hong Kong] 12,589 pupils in direct subsidy primary schools [4% of the total number of primary pupils in Hong Kong]; 45.5% of the primary school kids successfully enter the secondary schools that they choose.)

Very quickly you will be among one of the university examination takers among 70,000 others and compete for the 15,000 university degrees.
(70,000 Hong Kong high school students compete for 15,000 local university degrees.)

After you have graduated, what kind of occupations can you choose from except from the finance sector?
(Graduate students compete for jobs. Apart from the finance sector, every other sectors are vanishing.)

If we want to start up our own business, how are we going to tackle the most expensive rent in the world?
(Hong Kong business people have to compete for offices and retail spaces. Grade A office space (per square ft annual rent: Singapore USD 87.00; London USD 150.20; Hong Kong USD 213.70.)

The increase in property prices is always faster than one's salary. The construction of public housing is a lot slower than our needs. Our living spaces are getting smaller and smaller, while more and more expensive.
(Shell-less snails compete for homes. There are more than 150,000 public housing applicants. The government only builds 15,000 public housing units every year. The price of private housing is back to the 1997 level.)

Our GDP does keep on rising. But rich and poor disparity is getting extremely serious.
Average per capita GDP has increased 64% from 1998-2011; the median of family income has seen a zero increase in the past 13 years. The disparity between rich and poor is the highest in the world. The Gini co-effecience figure is 0.53.)

The fate of 7 million people should be decided by the 1,200 electoral committee members?
(Hong Kong power elites compete for the top seat in the Chief Executive electoral committee. More than 7 million citizens are represented by 1,200 electoral committee members in the election of the city mayor.)

This is all too wrong. But even if I am sick, the doctors and nurses are too busy to take care of me.
(Hong Kong people compete for medical services. The nurse and patient ratio in public hospital at the night shift is 1:24; international standard is 1:6.)

Time passes very quickly and many decades passed by, we have to compete for beds again.
(Hong Kong elderly compete for elderly care centers. In 20 years, the number of elderly in Hong Kong will be 2,500,000 while we only have 27,000 beds in elderly care centers.)

Even when we die, we have to compete. It is not easy to rest in peace.
(The dead in Hong Kong have to compete for a position in cemeteries. In the next 20 years, 1,000,000 people will pass away, but we only have 123,400 urns available in our cemeteries. We don't have a space to bury ourselves after we die?)

Hong Kong people, is this what we want?
(Hold on, we need a responsible Chief Executive with guts. We need new thinking, real reform, and a long-term blue print for our future.)

Chief Executive, it's time to work.
(Chief Executive, it's time to work.)

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