No big deals in Hong Kong

Have you ever noticed the posters produced by the council members along the streets in Hong Kong?

As a former advertising student, I like reading all kinds of posters and learning from their graphic design and copywriting; while as a mainland student, posters in Hong Kong often make me confused: what are the council members doing? One council member appeals for building a trash station in Tai Kok Tsui to eliminate the bad smell; another one asks for enhancing the tile quality on the surface of Taikoo Place; someone requests for planting grass on a small desert land. I should admit that these proposals have really given me a new horizon. In my mind before, the council members are elite people in the high class. They should supervise the economical and political strategy. Why are they wasting time on such tiny boring things?

Some Hong Kong residents hold the same opinion. I read a column talked about this phenomenon. The writer seemed to be angry. He wrote, “This is a dereliction of duty! We trust them and give them much salary and fame but they only care about these trivialities! They are occupying the toilet only for reading newspapers!” The writer also asked the council members to learn from the mainland officials who flew here and there every day to handle all kinds of big issues. At the moment I found this article, I feel I couldn’t agree more.

But after two days, a debating article totally changed my mind and made me feel ashamed for the mainland governors. The writer maintained that there were two reasons for Hong Kong council members only focusing on tiny things: first, they do not have the power to handle the big issues; second, there are no big deals in Hong Kong.

The first reason is understandable. Mainland governors have much powers with little supervision. They can ask the service cars to pick up their children or take their families to abroad study tours. They do whatever they like and the government would pay the bill. So they seem to be extremely busy every day, but nobody knows whether they are really busy undertaking their responsibilities or not. On the contrary, Hong Kong has very strict supervision on officials and council members. Their budgets are also limited. So it’s hard for them to perform to be as busy as mainland officials.

What inspired me is the second one. At first I felt ridiculous, since Hong Kong is such a great international metropolis, how could there be no big deals in Hong Kong? Now I’ve understand the article. Hong Kong is a highly developed city. All industries have mature standards and procedures for all kinds of stuffs and everyone follows the standards. That makes the daily life quite easy. Everything works like a precise machine so that there could not be big issues to worry about.

However, though there are similar standards and operation process in mainland, people do not follow. The mainland governing way relies on people instead of mature laws and regulations. That makes the working efficiency really low. Besides, another disadvantage of not following the standards is a lot of mistakes and accidents. Like the toxic food issue, spring transportation problem and all kinds of conflicts between local governments and the people. Because everyone here follows the laws, regulations and standards, so there are really not big deals in Hong Kong.

No big deals in Hong Kong, which I think is a very precious compliment.

About ShuzeChen

Shuze Chen is a full time graduate student at SPR, Annenberg, USC. He comes from Jiangsu, China. He did his undergraduate in Advertising, Nanjing University.
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2 Responses to No big deals in Hong Kong

  1. Mei Fong says:

    I like how your observation of simple everyday council posters blossomed into a meditation on political systems

  2. Alice Wang says:

    great analysis

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