Revive the 'can-do' spirit

Updated: 2014-05-22 05:46

By Staff Writer (HK Edition)

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Revive the 'can-do' spirit

It's confirmed - Hong Kong competitiveness is on the slippery slope down, down and still further down. In 2012 we took it for granted when the prestigious Swiss Business School IMD rated us No 1 in the world in its annual survey of global go-getters. Last year we got quite a jolt when we were dropped to No 3 - that wasn't just a wake-up call but an alarm bell echoing across the harbor. But somehow it seems that we closed our ears to the need to pull up our socks and revive our much vaunted "can-do" spirit of old.

As a result, we've slipped to our worst IMD rating for years, down to No 4. And to add insult to injury, we've been elbowed out of that No 3 spot by Singapore, who played catch-up behind us for years.

So what's taking the zing out of the amazing Hong Kong success story?

Let's be honest with ourselves and frankly examine what's become increasingly off-putting about Hong Kong for the international bean counters.

No 1 on the list is endless political bickering. On and on go the complaints raised by the nitpicking opposition camp. All this back-biting and finger-pointing fritters away valuable resources like time, talent and manpower.

And, far worse, on and on go the filibustering tactics of Leung Kwok-hung, or "Long Hair", and his cohorts, completely disregarding the responsibilities the Legislative Council has to perform.

Turning to another major negative factor about Hong Kong's competitiveness, why has the government allowed the threat of the "Occupy Central" campaign to hang over our city since January last year? In the 16 months since then what positive steps has the government taken to eliminate this smoldering civic disturbance just waiting to happen?

The police have undertaken special training, but what have other branches of the government done to nip "Occupy Central" in the bud?

And now Singapore is rubbing our noses in it over this shock blow to our once justifiably proud image!

Just ask the man in the street if he is happy to swallow Singapore's dust now that they're one peg above us and no doubt chortling at our fall in prestige.

But then we never read of filibusters in Singapore's parliament. Nor have we heard of their students being so dissatisfied with conditions there that they plan to block off the port city's main traffic artery, Orchard Road, in an immature and destructive display of civil disobedience.

Instead those students are beavering away at their books and keyboards, soaking up the knowledge that will maintain Singapore's prosperity and cutting-edge technological smarts.

Are we going to take this blow to our prestige without a murmur - or do we intend to figuratively roll up our sleeves and prove that the fighting spirit of Hong Kong still burns strongly in our hearts?

(HK Edition 05/22/2014 page9)