Jan 12, 2007

Donald Maintains that the Show Must Go On...

I must say I am rather surprised to hear Donald's remark at the end of the CE Q&A session today at Legco. If I did not interpret his words incorrectly, he compares the "youngsters" at Star Ferry to extremists and commits to continue to "execute" in the future even against all odds once decisions have been made.

What made the remark surprising is that just before that, he sensibly said that he understands that the demands from the society for identity, shared memories and culture has changed, and that he believes that the policies should be revisited and revised.

But the society's sentiment changed BEFORE the actual demolition of the tower, not AFTER. His remarks seem to say that the demolition changed the society's sentiment, but I believe it was when the tower was facing the possibility of imminent demolition when the society awoke. If Donald maintains that once public consensus is established (no matter how long ago) the Show Must Go On then he really did not learn from the incident.

He was correct to point out that the society's sentiment has changed. AND it may change again! Is that so hard to understand? People change. So, even after some consultation, out pour of sentiment upon the execution must not be ignored. Being sensitive to the will of the people is the important quality of a CE it seems Donald has not demonstrated in his rather shocking remark today.

At the same time, I urge Alan to come up with more concrete plans to involve and engage the public in these heritage issues. More importantly, we know that people will not be mobilized until past the last minute most likely. How do we deal with such situations? How do we at least try to engage ahead of time or at least get a sense of how people might react and be mobilized at the final hour? These are questions perhaps where a well-rounded policy should be built around. Not just doing more consultation now, then make decision and drive forward disregarding any further push backs or out pours of public sentiment as Donald has suggested would be his policy direction.

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