Archive for October 12th, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dalai Lama Envoy on Nepal Mission

“Chope Paljor Tsering, the health minister of the Dalai Lama’s government-in-exile, arrived on a low-key visit in Kathmandu on Wednesday from Dharamsala in India to interact with foreign officials, NGOs and Tibetan refugees living in settlements spread across Nepal. He will be in Nepal till October 23.”

Beacon Online, October 12 >>

Sunday, October 12, 2008

HK Liberal Party: the Bloodbath continues

The LegCo elections in Hong Kong were a “bad day for business”, said the Economist. The Liberal Party, the most outspoken pro-business party, won seven of the functional-constituency seats – which means that they were voted in by their business guilds. But the Liberal candidates who had to gain support in direct elections (that’s half of the 60 seats in the legislature) suffered heavy blows. None of them was elected, and two of them lost the seats they had previously held.

The bloodbath is going on. Three lawmakers are leaving the Party, saying that internal struggles were hindering them from serving the public and saving the economy. The European edition of Singtao Daily quotes one of the lawmakers as saying that “white terror” (baise kongbu) led to her decision to withdraw from the party (Singtao Daily, European ed., Oct. 9 2008, p. A5).

After one previous withdrawal and the current additional three withdrawals, the Liberal Party will only hold three seats in LegCo from now. To maintain some pro-business clout, they may have to merge with – or join – the DAB (Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong).

Some anti-establishment candidates did particularly well. However, interpretations of the events as these by Vincent Kolo could be too far-fetched. But his article describes the dominant role of the service sector (and these are usually no jobs at the International Financial Center). That and the current global financial crisis combined won’t be conducive for pro-business forces in Hong Kong either.

But how should Hong Kong position itself within the global economy, if not as one of the freest business environments? And how informative about the public mood is a polling turnout of some 45 per cent of registered voters (that’s 3.37 million people)?

Related: HK LegCo election results, September 8.

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