Why are Hong Kongers so unhappy?
Li Xueying, The Straits Times
August 29 2012
In Hong Kong, there are nine Fortune Courts, four Rich Courts and three Wealthy Courts – mostly built in the 1980s and 1990s.
In more recent years, in vogue are projects named after overseas locations: Residence Bel-Air, La Maison Du Nord, Sunrise Cannes.
A people who used to pride themselves on being go-getters, who believed they could become rich/wealthy/make their fortune if they put their minds to it, have become anxious that they can no longer succeed in Hong Kong. Far better, it seems, to dream of living in a paradise away from here.
Her article in the Yazhou Zhoukan, noting the same trend in Taiwan, Singapore and the mainland, was cited by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday, as he spoke of how the anxiety is due to the “Four Asian Dragons” searching for a new development path after an era of rapid growth.
Hong Kongers are down in the dumps for a variety of reasons.
Material success – and having more of it compared with one’s peers – has always been key to happiness in Hong Kong, noted Hayes Tang, a sociologist from Hong Kong University (HKU).
But this Hong Kong dream is being thwarted by structural obstacles, most notably the dominance of vested property and banking interests in the economy, and by extension their hold on the government, given that half its revenue comes from land sales.